ATLANTA – The Phillies had been deliberating on their post-season rotation since they clinched their fourth straight NL East Division title Monday in Washington.
The deliberating has ended.
Roy Halladay, as expected, will start Game 1 of the NLDS Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park. Roy Oswalt will pitch Game 2 Friday, also at the Bank, and Cole Hamels will take the mound for Game 3, which will be played Sunday on the road.
It had been assumed that Halladay, the club’s 21-game winner and Cy Young Award challenger, would be the Game 1 starter. Manager Charlie Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee indicated Oswalt was the choice for Game 2 because he’s never lost a start at Citizens Bank Park. The compact righthander is 9-0 with a 2.10 ERA in 10 career starts on the Phillies home turf and 5-0 with a 1.76 ERA in six starts since the Phillies acquired him from Houston in late July.
“Roy’s found a very good comfort zone at home,” Dubee said before the Phillies opened the final regular-season series against the Braves Friday at Turner Field. “Cole’s had some really good games in Cincinnati. He pitches very well on the road, as he does at home.”
The Central Division champ Reds began Friday as the team with the best chance of playing the Phillies in the NLDS.
There was speculation the Phillies might start Hamels in Game 2 to give their opponent a righty-lefty-righty look.
But Dubee said Halladay and Oswalt are different kinds of pitchers, which made splitting them up moot.
“If there were two guys alike, then you might want to (split them up),” Dubee said. “But those guys are very different. Cole has pitched some very good games at Cincinnati, and at home.”