Charlie Manuel chose to play coy rather than make an official announcement regarding the Phillies’ playoff rotation, telling reporters: “I think if you’re good baseball people, you should be able to see how we’re setting it up.”
And he’s right.
Roy Halladay will start Game 1 of the NLDS in Philadelphia on Saturday, followed by Cliff Lee in Game 2 on Sunday. Cole Hamels is lined up to pitch Game 3 and Roy Oswalt is expected to get the Game 4 assignment, with Vance Worley working out of the bullpen.
Oswalt versus Worley was the only real decision for Manuel to make and Oswalt finished his regular season with six shutout innings against the Braves last night, lowering his ERA to 3.69.
The Astros rallied late to keep their winning streak alive, extending it to 11 games with a 7-4 victory over the Royals on Sunday afternoon. The club is now 48-25, leading the Mariners by a full game in the AL West.
The Royals took a 4-2 lead after three innings, but Brian McCann knocked in a run with a single in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to one run. Carlos Correa hit a game-tying solo home run in the eighth. The Astros kept their foot on the gas, scoring two more runs on RBI singles from Evan Gattis and Marwin Gonzalez in the top of the eighth and another in the top of the ninth on Correa’s sacrifice fly.
Starter Lance McCullers allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks with nine strikeouts over six innings. Tony Sipp worked a scoreless seventh. Ken Giles did the same in the eighth. Hector Rondon finished off the win in the ninth, working around a one-out walk with a game-ending double play.
After winning all 10 games on their road trip against the Rangers, Athletics, and Royals, the Astros will head home for a nine-game homestand against the Rays, Royals, and Blue Jays. Each club is below .500.