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So, what are the Phillies going to do against the Braves this weekend?

Oct 1, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

The Phillies have nothing to play for this weekend. Will the Braves benefit because of it?

I love it when people try to make me feel better. Here’s a tweet, sent in my direction from a chap named @Evolution33:


Karma dictates that if the Phillies rest and let the Braves into the playoffs they will pay with a NLCS loss to the Braves.

I
don’t believe in magic, I-ching, Buddha, mantra, Gita, yoga, kings,
Elvis, Zimmerman, Beatles, Yoko or me, but I’d like to think that there
is some force in the universe that will make that happen.

Supernatural
stuff aside, Charlie Manuel does have some interesting decisions on his
plate as the Phillies face the Braves this weekend. The Phillies have
nothing to play for, really. They have the home field advantage. They
really just need to stay healthy and make sure their pitchers are
rested/sharp for the playoffs.  That rested/sharp balance is where the
interestingness comes in.

Kyle Kendrick gets the start tonight
because it’s his turn. Manuel has also said that Cole Hamels will get
some work this weekend, though maybe not a regular, full-blown start. 
The speculation is that will be Saturday, with Sunday being a festival
of relief pitchers.

My nightmare is that Oswalt and/or Halladay
come to Charlie and say that they really need 40 pitches or something in
order to be sharp for the NLDS, Charlie says OK, and Saturday and
Sunday have the Braves facing all three of the Phillies’ big starters in
two games.  The chances of this are very small, of course — Halladay
will almost certainly take the weekend off — but these are the sorts of
things that cause me to pour doubles when a single is all I really
need.

Ah, it doesn’t matter I guess. The Padres are gonna lose at
least two games to the Giants this weekend and render it all academic.
Right?  Anyone?

[please hold me]

  1. G2 - Oct 1, 2010 at 11:13 AM

    They’ve had a few days to rest already, then they’ll get Monday and Tuesday to rest and then an off day Thursday. The regulars need some serious ABs to stay sharp. I would think all the regulars need to at least start two out of three games (maybe not finish them).
    But whatever Charlie does will be the right thing, because he’s a savant.

  2. Mr. Heyward - Oct 1, 2010 at 11:16 AM

    Do you believe in magic? I hope you do. You’ll always have a friend wearing big red shoes. Anyone hungry for a McDolphin?
    -
    Let’s just stay calm and hope that the big three get in a spin-the-bottle game this weekend and each come down with a raging case of mono.

  3. Jaysus - Oct 1, 2010 at 11:28 AM

    GB pouring doubles!

  4. Jonny5 - Oct 1, 2010 at 11:32 AM

    I was thinking the same thing. A couple of guys here are guessing Charlie will probably give Hamels and Oswalt some time on the mound, but not too much. They have some guys that’ll take 4 innings after these guys get their pitches in… I’m thinking Charlie will try to gift some wins to Bobby as much as he can without telling guys to strike out looking. This is a total Phillies Hatred thread!!!! It shows the national bias of baseball people against us!!! I’m sorry, just trying to maintain the stereotype here.

  5. The Steve Jeltz Experiment - Oct 1, 2010 at 11:55 AM

    My guess is that Charlie will send Hamels out tomorrow for four innings or so, then use his better relievers if the game is close. They’ve already said Halladay is done until his Game 1 start. You could give Oswalt two innings Sunday to keep him sharp. I’m guessing the likely starter on Sunday will be Vance Worley. But the Braves should just take care of business and beat Kendrick tonight — if they lose and the Pads win, or if it comes down to Sunday being a must-win, Charlie might feel obligated to play all his regulars on sunday, assuming Polly is available after his cortisone shot.

  6. HomeHalfwayDotNet - Oct 1, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    In this rare case, I’ll be a cynic and say that I fully expect a 2009 World Series matchup again.

  7. Jeffers66 - Oct 1, 2010 at 12:14 PM

    Kyle Farnsworth is a concept by which we measure our pain.

  8. birdmancometh - Oct 1, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    The Marlins have already laid down and let the Braves in, now you want the Phillies to?

  9. Trevor B - Oct 1, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    With how the Braves are looking the Phils would be smart to trot the B-Squad out there and tell them to take it easy. This way they stand a chance at facing a half B-squad Braves team. No offense Craig but the Bravos have way to many holes right now.

  10. Mr. Heyward - Oct 1, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    amen brother

  11. RickB - Oct 1, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    Not gonna happen, but wouldn’t it be great if they used Hamels, Halladay and Oswalt in the same game, three innings apiece?

  12. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 1, 2010 at 1:07 PM

    Uncle Charlie, on his way to winning Manager of the Year, should rest the big three this weekend, butplay the regulars…especially Rollins. Dude needs the work. Rest old man Ibanez, give chooch a couple days off, and let Francisco hit 3 or 4 more bombs this weekend. With the bullpen pitching, the Phillies will need all the run support they can get if they want to win a game or two this weekend.

  13. Utley's hair - Oct 1, 2010 at 1:20 PM

    I say delay Kendrick til tomorrow, and relieve him with Doc for an inning or two. Start Hamels tonight for no more than 5 innings, relieve him with Oswalt. Iron-Pig-apalooza on Sunday.

  14. Kiwicricket - Oct 1, 2010 at 1:45 PM

    You just referenced magic, eating Dolphins and a contagious disease in 50 words or less. I like your work fella. And for your next trick?

  15. Kiwicricket - Oct 1, 2010 at 1:52 PM

    Bullsh*t to your idea of delaying Kendrick!! I have waited 5 long days to watch him. I imagine the crowd turning up would feel in a similar manner, if they got Australian Hogget instead of New Zealand Lamb like you are suggesting.

  16. Utley's hair - Oct 1, 2010 at 1:57 PM

    Swap Oswalt and Doc. No way Oswalt starts Tuesday and pitches again tonight. I’ll use Craig’s Bautista excuse–I’m sleepy. (Something about giraffes floating by the windows just tires me out.)

  17. Mr. Heyward - Oct 1, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    Keep reading…there will be more until Craig, Aaron, et al. kick my ass of this HBT thing.

  18. Dasher521 - Oct 1, 2010 at 3:45 PM

    The Phillies have everything in the world to play for – winning the World Series. Charlie will prepare the Phillies in the Phillies’ best interests- not the Braves’ best interest, not the Padres’ best interest, not the Reds’ best interest, not the Giants’ best interests. The Phillies overcame injuries to six of their eight starters. They took care of their business. Let the other teams take care of their business. When I coached, the goal was always the same – win your last game!

  19. tanstafl - Oct 2, 2010 at 1:44 AM

    What if the Braves and Giants lose all three this weekend? That makes a three-way tie based on wins. Giants and Padres play a one-game playoff, but does the loser get to play the Braves for the wildcard?

  20. Route36West - Oct 2, 2010 at 8:54 PM

    No the scariest thing is the braves getting blown out by the Philles b squad in the first 2 games of the series when they are playing for nothing and the braves are playing for everything. They could have made Chad Durbin throw every pitch in this series and let the braves into the playoffs and no amount of Whodo would have helped the Braves beat the Phillies in the NLCS.

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