Phillies go with Lee in Game 1, Hamels in Game 2

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Charlie Manuel announced this afternoon that Cliff Lee will start Game 1 of the NLDS against Colorado, with Cole Hamels going in Game 2.
You can’t really go wrong either way, but Hamels has been the Phillies’ ace for years now and was named MVP of both the NLCS and World Series last October. On the other hand, a Game 1 assignment would have meant pitching on somewhat short rest for Hamels, who threw three innings Saturday in his final regular-season outing, and Lee has simply out-pitched him this season.
Obviously having a pair of No. 1 starters in the rotation is far more important than which order they’re in, and the fact that both Lee and Hamels are left-handed is especially advantageous against the Rockies. Colorado had the best OPS in the league against right-handed pitching this season, but ranked fourth against lefties.
Colorado will go with Ubaldo Jimenez against Lee in Game 1, with Aaron Cook facing Hamels in Game 2. Two excellent pitching matchups, featuring four of the best 20 starters in the league. Circling the Bases will have a full preview of the Phillies-Rockies series later today, following our Twins-Tigers tiebreaker game live blog.
As for who will get the ball in the ninth inning if the Phillies have a lead … well, Manuel wasn’t so sure about that, saying: “Hard to tell. Whoever you see walk out there.”

Video: Gift Ngoepe singles in his first major league at-bat

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Pirates infielder Gift Ngoepe, just called up from Triple-A Indianapolis, singled in his first major league at-bat on Wednesday evening against Cubs starter Jon Lester. It was a well-struck ground ball up the middle in the bottom of the fourth inning. Unfortunately for him, the Pirates could not bring him around to score.

Ngoepe, who was pinch-hitting, stayed in the game to play second base.

Shelby Miller getting third opinion on elbow from Dr. James Andrews

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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday due to inflammation in his right elbow. He had a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday and is currently awaiting a third opinion from Dr. James Andrews, Craig Grialou of Arizona Sports reports. That he’s getting a third opinion seems to imply that Miller’s elbow issue is rather serious.

Miller, 26, hasn’t been able to catch a break since joining the Diamondbacks. Last year’s nightmarish season included a finger injury stemming from mechanical woes and a brief demotion to the minor leagues. In 20 starts in the majors last year, Miller posted an ugly 6.15 ERA. This year, his ERA is a mediocre 4.09 over four starts.

The Diamondbacks called up Zack Godley to take Miller’s spot in the rotation. There was some speculation that it would be Archie Bradley instead, but he’s been working out of the bullpen.