Phils tab ace Hamels to start Game 1
Myers, Moyer and Blanton to follow left-hander in NLCS
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies are planning to use the same rotation in the National League Championship Series that they used in the NLDS, the team announced Tuesday.Left-hander Cole Hamels will get the ball in Game 1 on Thursday at Citizens Bank Park against the Dodgers' Derek Lowe. The Phils' ace has made two starts against Los Angeles this season, going 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA.
Right-hander Brett Myers will start Game 2 on Friday in Philadelphia. Myers has fared significantly better at home than on the road, going 7-5 with a 3.01 ERA at Citizens Bank Park and 3-8 with a 6.21 ERA away from it.Lefty Jamie Moyer and righty Joe Blanton will pitch Games 3 and 4, respectively, in Los Angeles, giving the Phillies two right-handers and two left-handers in their rotation. "The more they see something that looks the same, the better they can attack it," pitching coach Rich Dubee said. Starting pitching was one of the Phillies' biggest strengths in their victory over the Brewers in the NLDS. Hamels, Myers, Moyer and Blanton combined for a 1.80 ERA (five earned runs in 25 innings). But Philadelphia's starters will have their work cut out for them against the Dodgers. Los Angeles had one of baseball's hottest offenses during September as it cruised to a 19-8 finish.
The Dodgers' lineup has been driven during the past two months by their marquee Trade Deadline acquisition, Manny Ramirez. The left fielder hit .396 in August and September with 17 home runs and 53 RBIs.
Throughout his career, Ramirez has caused particular trouble for Moyer. The veteran lefty has given up 10 home runs to Ramirez, more than he has against any other hitter.
"There's eight other guys in that lineup," Moyer said. "It's what you do before him and what you after him. You get everybody out before him, and you face him three times in a game and he hits three solo home runs, you've got a chance to win. That's the way I look at it."
Dubee said that the team would likely go with 11 pitchers for the NLCS, the same amount it carried for the NLDS. It's unclear whether they'll opt to bring along left-handed long man J.A. Happ or short-innings right-hander Rudy Seanez."We think we have enough arms," Dubee said. "We'll probably go 11. We're not sure which 11, but probably 11." The deadline to submit NLCS rosters is 10 a.m. ET on Thursday.
Kevin Horan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.