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It's Blanton, not Lee, in Game 4

Nov 1, 2009, 12:40 PM EDT

The Phillies are down 2-1 with CC
Sabathia awaiting them in Game 4 on Sunday night. Sounds pretty
ominous, right? Not if you’re Charlie Manuel. He still plans on
sticking with Joe Blanton.

The Yankees are no-doubt licking
their chops to face Blanton, who hasn’t appeared in a game since
October 19. Here’s just a sampling of a few Yankees’ past success against Blanton:

Derek Jeter: 4-for-12 (.333) with one walk, one home run and three RBI

Alex Rodriguez: 4-for-7 (.571) with three walks, two home runs and five RBI

Mark Teixeira: 9-for-27 (.333) with one home run, three home runs and seven RBI

The big question this morning is
“Why not Lee?” He has a 0.54 ERA, 0.69 WHIP and 30/3 K/BB ratio in four
starts this postseason, including a masterful performance in Game 1.

While it’s true that Lee has never
started on three day’s rest, the fallout of Manuel’s decision is
wide-reaching. Even if the Phillies win Game 5 with Lee on the hill,
they will be forced to start Pedro Martinez in Game 6 and most likely
Cole Hamels in a possible Game 7 at Yankee Stadium. After Hamels’
comments following Saturday’s loss, that can’t be encouraging for
Phillies fans. Meanwhile, Joe Girardi has his ace lined up for a
possible Game 7, if it gets that far.

Giving Lee three starts give the Phillies their best — and perhaps only — chance to win.

  1. Shely - Nov 1, 2009 at 2:32 PM

    Lets face it gang. I don’t care how many big hitters they have. If it weren’t for Lee, this team would not have made it to the PLAY-OFFS period. Lets see if they can beat CC twice in the same series. I don’t think so. Sorry Philly, you still have the Eagles.

  2. RC - Nov 1, 2009 at 2:48 PM

    I agree that Lee should pitch game 4. If Philly trails by 2 games, there is no way they will recover. Lee gets paid to pitch so let him pitch. to make it a series.

  3. Znamga Petrov - Nov 1, 2009 at 4:03 PM

    I’m also thinking that Lee should be starting today’s game. He’s never pitched on 3 days rest before…OK! The worst case scenario is that he’s sub-par, and the Yankees smack him around and win. That still puts him in a position to start game 7 with full rest (assuming that the Phillies get that far), in a potential “make or break” duel with CC. The best case scenario is that he proves he can pitch on 3 days rest and tosses another gem, in which case, he’s STILL available for game 7! By the way, I’m a die-hard Yankees fan (when I was growing up in Brooklyn, I would go to Yankee Stadium on Sunday while my Catholic friends went to THEIR church), so I’m really, you know, just feeling this one out and trying to be objective.

  4. Jeff - Nov 1, 2009 at 5:05 PM

    Philly should start Lee in game 4, no doubt about it. Doesn’t matter that he has never pitched on 3 days rest, he is the clear ace of the staff so now is the time for him to get it done! If he can’t go deep in the game, so be it, they got Happ waiting in the pen. I’m just saying Philly needs to put their top guy in like the Yanks are doing. I think Philly has the edge in the bullpen, depthwise. Yankees have no middle relievers.

  5. Kim - Nov 1, 2009 at 5:07 PM

    Lee don’t need no stinking 3 days rest! This is the stinking world series! How come you gringo managers always want 3 stinking days rest!?

  6. steveking - Nov 1, 2009 at 7:23 PM

    charlie does not have a clue how to handle pitchers; however the only way to win the series is to beat the yankees with CC on three days rest as we did last year when he was with the Brewers, lee pitches game six and wins easily and then we get to game seven and then we have a decent shot. Not easy but the best chance to win four of seven.

  7. BigDong - Nov 1, 2009 at 7:33 PM

    Hey steveking……..they have to make it to game 6 for Lee to pitch….if they lose tonight their won’t be a game 6……the Phillys are DONE!

  8. afmilret - Nov 1, 2009 at 7:52 PM

    I think they should start Blanton, and if he gets in trouble put LEE in there. Blanton can go 4 innings with minor damage and then LEE can shut it down and pitch maybe 4 innings and be ready for game 7. Go Phillies.

  9. Cru11 - Nov 2, 2009 at 12:53 AM

    Put Lee in there? What and waste a your best pitcher to try to salvage a game? Earth to Charlie!!! Play for TODAY. The Phils cannot go down 3-1. Enough Said.

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