Game 1 of the NLDS is scheduled for a 5:07 start tonight. Here is the post-season roster for the Phillies:
- Catchers (2): Carlos Ruiz and Brian Schneider.
- Infielders (6): Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Placido Polanco, Jimmy Rollins, Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez.
- Outfielders (6): Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence, John Mayberry Jr., Ben Francisco and Ross Gload.
- Pitchers (11): Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt, Ryan Madson, Brad Lidge, Antonio Bastardo, Mike Stutes, Vance Worley, Kyle Kendrick and Joe Blanton.
- Extras: Infielder Pete Orr and Catcher Erik Kratz will travel with the team. RHP Justin De Fratus, LHP Joe Savery and outfielder Domonic Brown will work out in Clearwater, FL and Outfielders John Bowker and Brandon Moss and RHP Michael Schwimer have been sent home.
The only slightly interesting move here is that Blanton was chosen for the roster instead of David Herndon, despite missing most of the season with injuries. The Phillies chose experience over a younger guy, even though Herndon was with the team most of the year.
As for the pitching match-ups in the series, here are the probable starters for the Phillies and Cardinals:
- Game 1: Roy Halladay vs. Kyle Lohse (ex-Phillie)
- Game 2: Cliff Lee vs. Chris Carpenter (on 3 days rest)
- Game 3: Cole Hamels vs. Jaime Garcia
These are some odd moves by Tony LaRussa. It will either turn out to be genius, or a huge mistake. The Phillies should be able to handle Lohse and will then get Carpenter on short rest. That is another situation they can probably take advantage of.
The pitcher the Phils have the most trouble with is Garcia, who was pushed back to Game 3 because his home numbers are much better than his road numbers.
This all seems to add up to a Phillies advantage, however, that remains to be seen. Also of note, Game 2 has been pushed back to 8:37pm (ugh) on Sunday due to the Yankees – Tigers rain postponement.
I also wanted to share with you an article I just read about how Danys Baez has helped Antonio Bastardo out of his recent pitching funk. Baez was released by the Phillies in July and was not picked up by another team. He has been sitting at home in Miami watching and noticed Bastardo, a player he previously mentored, was having problems. He reached out to Bastardo and helped him find the issues in his mechanics.
Bastardo has bounced back since then and it seems that Baez is the reason. The story made me a little sad, thinking about how much criticism Baez took while he was in Philly from fans and media. For him to swallow his pride and reach out to an ex-teammate like that is a sign of true character. He may not have been the bullpen solution the Phillies hoped for, but he gets huge brownie points in my book for just being a great guy.
Hope to see you all at the game tonight! Go Phillies!
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography