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Pitching and Rest

If this LA-Philly series goes long, the short rest thing will become a big deal. Derek Lowe is going on three days' rest for tonight's Game 4, which means he'll almost certainly be Los Angeles's pitcher in a possible Game 7. Philadelphia's own ace, Cole Hamels, is younger than Lowe, and has nowhere near the knowledge of what his own arm can take. So Philadelphia is taking it easy on its Game 1 starter, using him in Game 5, and probably not after that.

Based on the way the Phillies originally crafted their rotation schedule, Jamie Moyer would have drawn the likely Game 7 assignment. But given the way Los Angeles pummeled Moyer on Sunday, and given their recent success against slow-ballers, Moyer has probably stepped onto the field here for the final time. We'll probably see Joe Blanton, today's slated starter, get the nod for Philadelphia in Game 7.

So, did Philadelphia mis-manage its rotation here?

Today, Charlie Manuel said no. He's fine with Hamels pitching just twice. Hamels himself said that going on short rest for the NLCS was never even a consideration -- at least not this year.

An excerpt from an interview with him today...

Q: You said the more you pitched in the big leagues, the more the coaching staff might trust you you can go on short rest. If they had asked you, would you have been open to doing it?

HAMELS: As in right now?

Q. As in right now.

HAMELS: I think it wasn't even in my mind. I think because they've convinced me or they've talked to me enough to where because the amount of workload that I've gone through, throughout the season they don't want to push me to my limit. I think pitching every five days is a good assessment of what I can do and what I'm capable of doing. And I can be at my best. I don't think they want to risk it with me trying to go an extra day early for one more win, because it takes four. And if that causes me to have some extra soreness, I know the next time around I might not be as successful. So I think they're doing the right thing, and the competitiveness in me, I'd love to do it but because I've never done it. I don't want to risk it in the post-season. I think it's something I definitely can try in the season, like Jamie (Moyer) and Brett (Myers) were able to do this year. And I think it will be something where it will show what I'm truly capable of doing, whenever we make the post-season again.

TONIGHT'S LINEUPS

Philadelphia

Rollins - 6
Werth - 9
Utley - 4
Howard - 3
Burrell - 7
Victorino - 8
Dobbs - 5
Ruiz - 2
Blanton - 1

Los Angeles

Furcal - 6
Ethier - 9
Ramirez - 7
Martin - 2
Loney - 3
DeWitt - 4
Blake - 5
Pierre - 8
Lowe - 1

By Chico Harlan  |  October 13, 2008; 8:02 PM ET
 
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