Sunday, August 2, 2015

Francisco in LF as Ibanez sits

SAN FRANCISCO -- Following Game 3, I asked Charlie Manuel if he thought it was time to start Ben Francisco in leftfield as Raul Ibanez extended his hitless streak to 15 at-bats.

Francisco in LF as Ibanez sits

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Following Game 3, I asked Charlie Manuel if he thought it was time to start Ben Francisco in leftfield as Raul Ibanez extended his hitless streak to 15 at-bats.

"I'll think about all that," Manuel said. "But at the same time it's getting kind of late to be trying to make moves, isn't it?"

Apparently not.

Francisco is starting in left for Game 4 and batting seventh against Giants lefthander Madison Bumgarner. It's the only lineup change for the Phillies.

After a long layoff, Francisco hit well in the final week of the season with regular at-bats. He was 7 for 17 (.412) with a double and two home runs. Against lefthanders this season, Francisco has a slash line of .284/.344/.557 in 88 at-bats.

After Game 3, Manuel sounded as if he'd stick with Ibanez.

"He's been hitting lefties good the second half of the season," Manuel said. "I'll think about it. He's got some big hits off lefties. Francisco hasn't played since we left Washington at the end of the season."

Here is the complete lineup:

1. Shane Victorino CF
2. Chase Utley 2B
3. Placido Polanco 3B
4. Ryan Howard 1B
5. Jayson Werth RF
6. Jimmy Rollins SS
7. Ben Francisco LF
8. Carlos Ruiz C
9. Joe Blanton P

The Giants made one switch, putting Pablo Sandoval at third for Juan Uribe, who is apparently still not 100 percent from his wrist injury suffered in Game 1.

1. Edgar Renteria SS
2. Freddy Sanchez 2B
3. Aubrey Huff 1B
4. Buster Posey C
5. Pat Burrell LF
6. Cody Ross RF
7. Pablo Sandoval 3B
8. Aaron Rowand CF
9. Madison Bumgarner P

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