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Cole Day In Hell -- Phillies 8-5 Loss Shows Why Manuel Is Crazy Not To...

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...start Cliff Lee in Game 4. Charlie Manuel has announced that Joe Blanton will pitch Game 4, rather than have Lee pitch on 3-days rest for the first time in his career, and then be set to pitch in Game 7. Game 7 is not going to be a problem the way Manuel is playing it.

Down 2-1 in the series, Manuel has two options that don't require Pedro Martinez to pitch on short rest -- which at this stage of his career makes sense not to do. He can go, as he is apparently going to, with:

Lee
P. Martinez
Hamels
Blanton
Lee
P. Martinez
Hamels

and pitch Lee only twice while trying to get to a Game 7 to throw a pitcher who entered tonight's game with a 6.75 post-season ERA and promptly gave up 5 ER in 4.1 IP. After going all of 10-11, 4.32 ERA during the regular season.

Or Manuel could go with:

Lee
P. Martinez
Hamels
Lee
Blanton
P. Martinez
Lee

You see, pitching Blanton is not the problem -- pitch him in Game 5. It's "not pitching Lee three times" that's the problem. In any game where the Yankees and Phillies take the field and Cliff Lee is not pitching, the Yankees are going to be the better team. The only chance the Phillies have in the World Series is to put the better team out there 3 times out of 7 and then try to steal one more.

The way the Phillies are playing it, they will now have to win 3 of 4 the rest of the way, and 2 of those wins will have to come in games Lee doesn't start. Good luck.

Charlie Manuel, had the Phillies won tonight maybe you could gamble because you already had one non-Lee win in the bag. You don't have that. You are now 0-2 when Lee doesn't start and it's not surprising. You have about 20 hours to come to your senses and give your team a chance to win the World Series. Because Lee on short rest may or may not get you there -- but pitching Lee only twice won't, plain and simple.