Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Meaningless baseball

WASHINGTON -- And so the slog to the postseason begins.

Meaningless baseball

Roy Halladay celebrates with Carlos Ruiz after pitching a complete game shutout to clinch the NL East. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Roy Halladay celebrates with Carlos Ruiz after pitching a complete game shutout to clinch the NL East. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

WASHINGTON -- And so the slog to the postseason begins.

The primary task before Tuesday's game was finding the bullpen bag, which contains rosin bags, exercise balls and other assorted necessities for the relievers. Bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer remembered telling Antonio Bastardo to grab it as the relievers sprinted from the bullpen to the celebration on the mound. But it had gone missing as the partying intensified.

Finally, after some thorough searching, Billmeyer found it in the laundry room. Phew.

Ah yes, the drama of meaningless baseball.

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That is exactly what the Phillies face for the next five games -- all of which will have no effect on the team's standing.

On Tuesday, the Phillies officially informed Major League Baseball they will be taking the division series with an extra off day, meaning Game 1 is Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park.

Who will start that game? The Phillies will not say, but all signs point to Roy Halladay. Pitching coach Rich Dubee said Halladay has likely made his final start of the season.

Halladay was scheduled to pitch Saturday, which would have meant throwing Wednesday on three days' rest. He could have made an abbreviated start Saturday, but they have decided it's best just to keep him out of a game.

So Halladay will pitch Game 1 on eight days' rest, with an altered in-between starts routine.

Other doings...

-- Jimmy Rollins is playing shortstop and leading off Tuesday. Expect him to bat leadoff for the rest of the regular season so he has as many at-bats as possible. As for the playoffs? Charlie Manuel said he hasn't decided where to bat Rollins.

-- Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are both playing on Hangover Day. Manuel said he expects both of them to have the next few days off.

-- Shane Victorino will leave the team Thursday for Las Vegas to be with his wife, Melissa, who is pregnant with the couple's third child. Victorino said he expects to miss Friday's game in Atlanta.

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