PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies finalized their roster for the National League Division Series on Friday, choosing Joe Blanton over David Herndon for the final spot in the bullpen.
It seemed to be the only tough decision they had to make.
Blanton had missed most of the season because of an injured right elbow, but threw well in five appearances this month, allowing seven hits, two runs and striking out 11 in seven innings. Herndon went 1-4 with a 3.22 ERA in 45 appearances, but had a 1.94 ERA in 34 appearances from May 22 through the end of the season. Herndon, however, allowed eight of 17 inherited runners to score, for a rate of 47.1 percent, which ranked 157th out of 165 pitchers in the big leagues that inherited 15 or more baserunners this season. He allowed 5-of-13 (38.5 percent) to score from May 22 through the end of the season.
"It's turned out well so far," Blanton said. "No pain the next day, no problems to get loose to start, or in between innings or anything."
Of course, Blanton won't be starting in the postseason. He will be pitching out of the bullpen, which means he might need to get ready quickly. He said that shouldn't be a problem.
"I've had zero problems getting loose so far," he said. "Actually, the games I didn't start I got ready with more than enough time left between innings."
Herndon was understandably disappointed. He also spent the entire 2010 season with the team, but didn't make the postseason roster.
"It stinks," he said. "I did everything I could do on the field. What can you do? It makes it a little tougher knowing that I pitched well since I came back [in May]."
Here is how the roster looks:
Catchers (2): Carlos Ruiz and Brian Schneider.
Infielders (6): Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Placido Polanco, Jimmy Rollins, Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez.
Outfielders (6): Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence, John Mayberry Jr., Ben Francisco and Ross Gload.
Pitchers (11): Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt, Ryan Madson, Brad Lidge, Antonio Bastardo, Mike Stutes, Vance Worley, Kyle Kendrick and Blanton.
Infielder Pete Orr and Catcher Erik Kratz are expected to travel with the team. Right-hander Justin De Fratus, left-hander Joe Savery and outfielder Domonic Brown will work out in Clearwater, Fla., to keep sharp in case they are needed later. Outfielders John Bowker and Brandon Moss and right-hander Michael Schwimer have been sent home for the offseason.
Phillies to host rally before Game 1
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies fans can start the postseason party before the first pitch is thrown Saturday afternoon.
Before Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Cardinals, all fans can attend a postseason rally at 3:30 p.m. ET outside Citizens Bank Park on the giant stage near the intersection of Citizens Bank Way and Pattison Ave.
No ticket is required for the event.
Phillies alumni Dave Cash, Dallas Green, Tommy Greene, Greg Luzinski and Hall of Famer Pat Gillick will be on hand for the event.
Starting at 2 p.m., fans will be treated to a concert, games, Turkey Hill ice cream samplings and face painting. The event is part of the Phillies Postseason Block Party, held prior to all postseason home games.
Howard feeling good, ready to go
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard said his injured left heel and right big toe are feeling better.
Howard has been plagued by foot problems this season, which has been noticeable running the bases, including this past week in Atlanta.
"I could probably beat you in a race right now," Howard joked with a reporter. "My foot is fine. There's always going to be a little bit of soreness or pain in there, or whatever, but it's a lot better than what it was."
Oswalt has no plans to retire
PHILADELPHIA -- Roy Oswalt's agent, Bob Garber, told MLB.com last week that Oswalt has no plans to retire after the season.
Oswalt had said in Spring Training and during the season he wasn't sure if he wanted to continue to play. He apparently had a change of heart. The Phillies and Oswalt have a $16 million mutual option with a $2 million buyout for 2012. It is unlikely the Phillies exercise their side of the option, although Oswalt could return if he would play for a lesser salary.
"I'd love to play," Oswalt said. "I'll play for any team in the big leagues."
So what changed his mind?
"I don't know how to do anything else," he said with a smile. "I don't know. I feel like I can compete. I still feel like I've got good enough stuff to compete. I don't want to leave and then regret it later, more than anything. It'd be great [to stay here]."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.