HOUSTON — After a night when the Phillies stranded 11 runners and scored three runs against five Astros pitchers, Charlie Manuel is putting his best possible offense on the field.
Both Carlos Ruiz and Kevin Frandsen will start. Both have been hobbled with injuries. Both have hot bats.
Frandsen had not started in nine days before Thursday. He said he can play as tolerated. He beat out an infield single and played the entire game. That he is playing Friday is a fine sign for the Phillies.
Manuel has stated the Phillies will be cautious with Ruiz, but there are indications the team is willing to turn him loose. Ruiz could catch again Sunday, and if all goes well, he could assume the regular duties again.
St. Louis won Thursday. If they finish at .500 (9-9), the Phillies must go 14-4 to win the second wild card. That's also assuming Los Angeles does no better than 11-7.
The lineup against Edgar Gonzalez, who in July was pitching in the Mexican League:
1. Jimmy Rollins 6
2. Juan Pierre 7
3. Chase Utley 4
4. Ryan Howard 3
5. Carlos Ruiz 2
6. Domonic Brown 9
7. John Mayberry Jr. 8
8. Kevin Frandsen 5
9. Cole Hamels 1
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