Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Postseason is here; What's your lineup look like?

The postseason is upon us. Charlie Manuel has plenty of choices to make regarding his pitching staff and his lineup. Hopefully J.A. Happ gets the opportunity to start at least one game. He earned it and he deserves it. Also, splitting time between Carlos Ruiz and Paul Bako during the regular season is fine, but not in the playoffs.

Chooch was a rock behind the plate for the Phils last October. He was a massive part of their success and a team needs a steady catcher back there for every game. To the best of my recollection, Chris Coste didn't start a postseason game except as a DH in Tampa. Bako did a decent job behind the dish this season, but the only time he should strap on the pads this October is in a blowout.

While Ubaldo Jimenez is not your typical game one ace, he presents a challenge for the Phils this afternoon. He'll likely be tough on our right handed batters, but he can mix it up and pitch well against lefties as well. If I were to fill out the lineup card, here's how it'd look:
1. J. Rollins
2. S. Victorino
3. C. Utley
4. R. Howard
5. R. Ibanez
6. J. Werth (Werth drops to the six hole against the tough right handed pitcher.)
7. P. Feliz (If Greg Dobbs were to start a game at third, this would be the one to do it. But I doubt it'll happen and I don't think I would have made that move either.)
8. C. Ruiz
9. C. Lee

I think Charlie will leave Werth in the five hole, but I'd attack Jimenez with a left handed heavy lineup and worry about how they use their bullpen later. Hitters 1-5 would be batting left handed against Jimenez which could allow the Phillies to build an early lead. As we've seen, Cliff Lee has pitched much better with a lead than he has trailing or in a tie game.

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