Loose ends: Ibanez, Contreras and Bastardo

Jose Contreras was given Friday and Saturday nights off. (Lenny Ignelzi/AP Photo)

SAN DIEGO -- A lot to dissect from a wild 11-inning win Saturday night. We discussed the intentional walk ahead of Ryan Howard earlier, so a few notes here...

There's a very, very good chance Raul Ibanez does not play today. He is 0 for his last 18 and the Padres will start a lefty, Wade LeBlanc. Figure John Mayberry Jr. is in left.

Charlie Manuel was asked about Ibanez (and Jimmy Rollins) before Saturday's game. He said he will stick with both where they currently are, mainly because the Phillies are winning.

"They have to stay with it," Manuel said. "They will. Stay upbeat and keep going. That's one of the beauties of this game."


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With a save opportunity available, Jose Contreras did not pitch for the second straight day. In a span of five days (from April 17 to 21), Contreras had thrown 72 pitches in four appearances. He needed some rest. He is, after all, 39 years old. (We think.)

But two days off raised a few eyebrows. Manuel said that is unneccessary.

"Contreras is OK," he said. "He'll be ready to pitch [Sunday]."

Not that Ryan Madson has done anything wrong as closer.


How about young Antonio Bastardo? Handed the ninth inning for just the third time in his career, he goes out and strikes out the side -- all swinging. In nine innings he has 14 strikeouts with three hits and four walks.

His fastball touched 95 mph on the final punchout of Chase Headley. Of the 16 pitches he threw, San Diego batters swung and missed at five. Entering Saturday, his 15.5 percent swinging strikes was the highest on the team.

J.C. Romero should be ready to come off the disabled list May 4, but Bastardo may have earned himself those tight spots late in games against lefties that Romero used to inherit.

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