The following is the letter I Fedex’d to the Phillies last night.
Dear Mr. Manuel,
Please use the following line-up if you want to win tonight and the series:
- Rollins SS
- Utley 2nd
- Polonco 3rd
- Howard 1st
- Werth RF
- Ruiz C
- Victorino CF
- Francisco LF
- Blanton P
You may also want to consider using Wilson Valdez as a defensive replacement for Chase Utley.
A lot of people are calling for Halladay to start tonight. A lot. I’m ok with Blanton. Mostly because if Halladay pitches tonight, Hamels, Oswalt and Halladay a second time have to go on short rest. If you aren’t willing to start Blanton against Bumgarner you certainly don’t let him tow the rubber verse Lincecum, Sanchez or Cain. I’d rather take my chances with Joe the Lumber than my three Aces on regular rest. The Phillies 2 losses in this series belong to the bats and troubles in the field. It’s no time to panic with the Pitching staff. They have done what they were supposed to do.
I would, however, give Ibanez the night off verse the lefty and see if Ben Francisco can provide a spark. Also I like the idea of splitting up the lefties. Rollins is about as much a leader on the field as this team has. Let Jimmy do Jimmy.
I’ll see you at the ballpark on Saturday.