Here’s the Phillies’ lineup for Game 6 of the NLCS against the Giants and left-hander Jonathan Sanchez.
1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
2. Placido Polanco, 3B
3. Chase Utley, 2B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Jayson Werth, RF
6. Shane Victorino, CF
7. Raul Ibanez, LF
8. Carlos Ruiz, C
9. Roy Oswalt, P
The big change here is that Jimmy Rollins is back in the leadoff spot for the first time since Game 1 of the NLDS against the Reds. Rollins stole two bases in Thursday’s win in Game 5, so it looks like his hamstring is finally feeling close to 100 percent. Shane Victorino gets bumped down to sixth in the order.
Charlie Manuel also sticks with Raul Ibanez against the lefty Sanchez, despite using Ben Francisco against southpaw Madison Bumgarner in left field in Game 4. Ibanez had his first two hits of the series in Game 5 and is batting just .185 (5-for-27) during the postseason.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.