Friday, September 10, 2010

Phils a full game up, Rotation down the stretch

The Phillies moved a full game ahead of Atlanta last night without lifting a finger, thanks to the Cardinals shellacking Jair Jurrjens for seven runs in less than four innings.

We're knee deep in the stretch run, leaving an interesting thing to ponder: how to set up the rotation.

The Phillies could re-work the rotation so that the big three (Halladay, Oswalt, Hamels) all pitch against Atlanta on regular rest in both series. That sounds great, except, once against the Mets and once against the Nationals, Joe Blanton and Kyle Kendrick or Vance Worley would start in back-to-back games.

The six games remaining with the Braves are of utmost importance. But, one could argue that the Phillies are best setup to win every series and avoid losing two games in a row the rest of the season. If they won every series the rest of the year, they'd win the division.

Of course, if they take four of six or better from the Braves, they most likely win the division. Pitching the big three against Atlanta every time gives you the best chance to do that.

We should find out on the 17th what the team plans to do. Roy Oswalt is pitching Sunday against the Mets. There is an off-day on Thursday the 16th. The series opener on the 17 against Washington is where the Phillies will make their first decision. It would be Kendrick/Worley's spot in the rotation. If the Phillies moved Oswalt up to the 17th, on full rest because of the day off, he'd be set up to pitch against the Braves. Then they'd have to hope that Kendrick/Worley and or Joe Blanton could beat Washington in hopes to not drop that series.

It will be very interesting to see which way the Phillies decide to go. For now though, the Phillies have very favorable pitching match-ups this weekend in Halladay and Oswalt's starts, and are in position to at least take two of three.

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