ARLINGTON, Texas - The Texas Rangers will go into Game 4 of the World Series trailing the San Francisco Giants. They have the option of pitching their ace, Cliff Lee, on short rest in Game 4. But no one was discussing the possibility before Saturday's Game 3.
Once again, it's time to debate the merits of starting Lee on three days' rest. The Phillies decided against it in 2009. Texas manager Ron Washington didn't exactly close the door on the possibility before Game 3.
"Well, there's a chance that anything could happen," Washington said. "But as I said, really the only thing that I'm thinking about right now is Colby Lewis tonight. That hypothetical, we'll deal with it if it happens."
But after the Rangers won Saturday night, Washington said Tommy Hunter would get the start for Game 4.
Lee has never started a game on three days' rest, and that, of course, was the crux of the debate. But before the Giants chased him in the fifth inning of Game 1, Lee was 7-0 in the postseason.
The Phillies faced a similar problem in 2009. Pedro Martinez could not pitch on short rest, so Joe Blanton would have had to make a start regardless. He pitched Game 4 and the Phillies lost, 7-4.
Hunter was 13-4 during the regular season with a 3.73 ERA. He has started twice in the postseason and failed to reach the fifth inning each time.
"He will try to make the adjustments that he's supposed to make," Washington said. "He wants the ball. He's everything that you would like out there on the mound, and if he can go out there and execute it, we'll be very happy."
Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez was asked Friday whether he regretted his actions in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series that prompted both benches to clear at Citizens Bank Park. He hit Chase Utley with a pitch, and Utley flipped the ball back toward Sanchez on the mound.
The pitcher took exception to that. On Friday, he didn't want to elaborate.
"We're in the World Series against Texas," Sanchez said. "Phillies are at home. I don't want to talk about that."
Former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush will throw out the ceremonial first pitches before Game 4.