A lefty is pitching and Mayberry is starting

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John Mayberry Jr. will start today against John Lannan of the Nationals. (Chris Schnieder/AP)

WASHINGTON — No, it's not a platoon, says Charlie Manuel. But evidence suggests otherwise.

Yet again, John Mayberry Jr. starts with a lefthander on the mound. This instance is particularly interesting because of the pitcher. Raul Ibanez has fantastic career numbers (12 for 25 with five extra-base hits) against John Lannan.

But it's Mayberry in left field and not Ibanez.

Mayberry deserves the playing time. Exactly half of his 48 total hits have gone for extra bases, a mind-numbing ratio. He homered Friday and his favor with the manager grows by the day.

The full lineup, as Shane Victorino returns from his two-game suspension:

1. Jimmy Rollins 6
2. Shane Victorino 8
3. Chase Utley 4
4. Ryan Howard 3
5. Hunter Pence 9
6. John Mayberry Jr. 7
7. Carlos Ruiz 2
8. Wilson Valdez 5
9. Roy Oswalt 1

***

Cole Hamels threw a light bullpen session Saturday, with emphasis on "light." His left arm remained attached and he still should start sometime next weekend.


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