Here’s the Phillies’ lineup for Game 5 of the NLCS tonight against Tim Lincecum:
1. Shane Victorino, CF
2. Placido Polanco, 3B
3. Chase Utley, 2B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Jayson Werth, RF
6. Jimmy Rollins, SS
7. Raul Ibanez, LF
8. Carlos Ruiz, C
9. Roy Halladay, P
Ibanez was benched in favor of Ben Francisco with left-hander Madison Bumgarner on the mound for the Giants last night, but he’s back in the lineup against the right-handed Lincecum.
Charlie Manuel has also ended the brief switch of putting Polanco in between left-handed bats Utley and Howard, perhaps realizing that he’s not a strong enough right-handed hitter to really punish the Giants for bringing in left-handed specialist Javier Lopez anyway.
Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Nick Pivetta will rejoin the Phillies’ rotation, starting Tuesday’s series opener at home against the Cardinals. Vince Velasquez will remain in the bullpen.
Pivetta, 26, allowed 17 earned runs on 31 hits and eight walks with 16 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings across his first four starts of the season. The performance resulted in a demotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. In six starts there, Pivetta had a much better 3.41 ERA with a 50/20 K/BB ratio in 37 innings of work.
Velasquez, 26, was solid as a starter, posting a 3.99 ERA across six starts. However, he averaged under five innings and 92 pitches per start. The right-hander tossed two scoreless innings out of the bullpen on Friday against the Brewers but was torched for four runs in two-thirds of an inning on Sunday. Mixed results, to say the least. The Phillies are trying to do what they can with their bullpen, currently missing David Robertson, Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek, and Vìctor Arano.