In NLCS Game 4, the Phillies say they plan on starting Joe Blanton.
Monday, October 18, 2010; 12:55 AM
PHILADELPHIA - For now, at least, the Philadelphia Phillies are sticking to their original plan to start right-hander Joe Blanton - the little brother to their so-called Big Three - in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series on Wednesday. But it is difficult to find anyone, outside of the Phillies' management, who believes anyone besides ace Roy Halladay will actually start that game.
"We're planning on starting Blanton. That's still our plan," Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel said rather unconvincingly on Sunday. "But we'll just take it day to day and see what happens."
Halladay, 33, would be on only three days' rest if he is tabbed for the Game 4 start, but he has pitched on short rest six times in his career, most recently in September 2008. He threw 105 pitches in Saturday night's 4-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants in Game 1, slightly below his season average of 108.
Meantime, the Giants almost certainly will start rookie Madison Bumgarner in Game 4, and are not believed to be seriously considering bringing back ace Tim Lincecum on short rest. Lincecum has never pitched on short rest in his career.
The Giants scratched shortstop Juan Uribe from their Game 2 lineup about two hours before first pitch, replacing him with veteran Edgar Renteria. Uribe suffered what the club is describing as a wrist contusion sliding into second base during Game 1.
Giants Manager Bruce Bochy said he expects Uribe to return to the lineup for Tuesday night's Game 3 in San Francisco, but also said Uribe will undergo an MRI exam. . . .
The move was made, at least in part, to neutralize Giants lefty bullpen specialist Javier Lopez (Robinson), who in Game 1 retired Utley and Ryan Howard - the Phillies' No. 3 and No. 4 hitters, both left-handed hitters - in the bottom of the eighth, providing the bridge to closer Brian Wilson.