At the very least, Vance Worley is making things hard on Charlie Manuel. The Phillies rookie righthander is certainly making a pitch to be part of the postseason starting rotation. The question is whether Worley or Roy Oswalt should be the fourth starter in the playoffs.
Worley gutted his way through six innings, allowing two runs in Tuesday’s 6-3 win over the Atlanta Braves at rainy Citizens Bank Park.
Afterwards he was asked if he feels each game is an audition for a place in the postseason starting rotation.
“I would love to start,” Worley said not surprisingly. “They will do what they need to do and it is either going to be me or Os.”
If Manuel bases his decision just on this year, it would be no contest, but Oswalt does have ample postseason experience and success.
First this year.
Worley is now 11-1 with a 2.85 ERA in 110 1/3 innings. Oswalt, who has battled a back problem and has yet to show sustained consistency, is 7-8 with a 3.80 ERA.
Then again Worley is a rookie and Oswalt has proven himself in the postseason with a 5-1 record and 3.39 ERA in 12 games, including 10 starts.
Worley says he would be happy with either role.
“I don’t have a problem pitching out of the pen,” he said. “I have done it for them already a few times last year and this year and whatever way I can contribute I want to do it.”
The Phillies have now won each of Worley’s last 14 starts, going 7-0 at home and 7-0 on the road.
At the very least, Worley is giving Manuel plenty to think about while keeping the pressure on Oswalt to step up his performance.