Phillies Ready For Playoffs?

This past series was filled with frustration and relief. The Phillies managed to earn two wins versus the Houston Astros, who took the season series 6-2, and see Atlanta lose to Florida to lock up the NL East for the third straight year. The Phillies host Florida for three and get set for October baseball on Wednesday.

The hitting and pitching were again not in sync and the bull pen showed flashes of the brilliance it had last October but then showed the mediocrity and defeated look it had almost all year.

Injuries have killed this unit and it can hurt them in the playoffs. JC Romero’s season is likely done and Jamie Moyer’s is already finished. Chan Ho Park, who is rehabbing, just had another set back which could be season threatening as well. From Todd Zolecki’s article:

Park left Thursday’s instructional league game in Clearwater, Fla., after facing five hitters. Park had been instructed to notify the team’s athletic trainers if he felt anything in his strained right hamstring and he did.

The Phillies announced after Thursday’s 5-3 loss to the Astros that Romero still has symptoms in his strained left forearm. He will seek a second opinion from Dr. David Altchek in New York.

Charlie Manuel said he is leaning on bringing 12 pitchers to the first round of the playoffs with him. That means likely four starters and eight relievers. The relievers should include Clay Condrey, Brett Myers, Scott Eyre, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Pedro Martinez/JA Happ, and one more if Romero and/or Park are finished. Chad Durbin and Tyler Walker will stand on in case they are needed.

12 pitchers means 13 hitters: Carlos Ruiz, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Pedro Feliz, Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth and the bench featuring Ben Francisco, Matt Stairs, Greg Dobbs, Paul Bako, and Eric Bruntlett.

Next Series: Florida Marlins (85-74; 42-36 on road) @ Philadelphia Phillies (92-67; 44-34 at home)

Pitching Probables:
Friday: FLA: VandenHurk (2-2, 4.44), PHI: Blanton (12-7, 3.95)
Saturday: FLA: Sanchez, A (3-8, 4.10), PHI: Hamels (10-10, 4.25)
Sunday: TBA

The probables are likely going to change because the Phillies might not want Cole Hamels pitching Saturday. The Marlins are playing for pride and the Phillies are only one game behind the Dodgers for the top seed and are on the verge of locking up at least the second seed.

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