It's the Big Three against Atlanta

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- The conversation was pretty simple.

"You're going to pitch Friday," Rich Dubee told Roy Oswalt.

"OK," Oswalt said.

And with that, the Phillies have aligned their three aces to pitch all six remaining games against the Braves, six games that could very well decide the winner of the National League East and the best record in the league.

Thursday's day off allows the Phillies to pitch Oswalt on regular rest Friday against Washington. Kyle Kendrick will be bumped back a day to pitch Saturday. Kendrick will start only two more games this season, both against Washington.

Oswalt said he feels strong -- about as strong as one can feel having thrown 2,910 pitches in a season with his right arm. Not having the extra day of rest was hardly a big deal, he said.

"There's no difference at this time of year," Oswalt said.


Jimmy Rollins has rejoined the team, but no one knows yet when he could actually return to the field. He remains "day to day" both Charlie Manuel and Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

Rollins has yet to test his strained right hamstring by running. There is no timetable for him to begin running. And until he runs, the Phillies won't have an idea when he could return. Typically, strained hamstrings could take up to three weeks to heal properly.


Righthander J.C. Ramirez, one of the three prospects acquired in the Cliff Lee deal with Seattle this past off-season, had hip surgery last Thursday. It's been, uh, quite the first year for all three of the prospects in the Phillies' system.

Read more about it in Wednesday's Inquirer.