Update: In thinking about Charlie Manuel's comments, detailed below about the need for a strong utiltity infielder, two names occured to me: Mark DeRosa and Marco Scutaro. Both are free agents, and both are the type of veteran that Manuel would be likely to trust. DeRosa could also spell Raul Ibanez in left field. The Phils will be operating with payroll constrains, and neither of these guys figures to be very expensive.
Good morning, and welcome to episode two of TBS’ new reality series “The NLDS.” Some lineup changes in a very big game for the Rockies, who’d be pretty dead looking if the went down down two games to none.
Carlos Gonzalez is leading off, with Dexter Fowler batting second. Ryan Spilborghs is batting seventh and playing right field. Spilborghs is 2 for 3 with two doubles lifetime against Cole Hamels.
An interesting moment in Charlie Manuel’s pregame presser came when he was asked about Chase Utley. Utley was obviously tired in September, as he is every season. Manuel said that the way to avoid that was to acquire an better backup infielder. Um, sorry Eric Bruntlett, but that doesn’t sound good for you.
Here’s the quote from Bill Faulkner:
“I would like to have somebody who can—somebody that can give Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley a spell, and it would probably be real hard to find, because I expect him to be close to—we don’t want to lose nothing by playing a guy, if that makes sense. I want something similar to who they are and someone that can probably contribute something similar to that. Though that would be hard to find, because that’s a tough job.”
Are you listening, Ruben?
Manuel is being cagey about his rotation. He said yesterday that Pedro Martinez would be available in the bullpen today, and now he says Pedro probably won’t pitch today. My guess is, if Happ and Blanton do not pitch today, they will start Games 3 and 4, who knows in what order. Manuel is playing this very close to the vest.
“He does his side work, and he throws in the bullpen,” Manuel said of Pedro. “He’s ready. He knows what he’s doing…I’d say he is capable of going out there and throwing definitely 90 to 100 pitches.”
Okay, will Blanton and Happ be able to stay ready for a start, given the changed routine?
“They are going to be ready. They’ll know. They’ll be ready.”