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10/02/08 6:35 PM ET

Hamels won't start potential Game 4

Phils' ace lefty would pitch decisive Game 5 if necessary

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies have ruled out any possibility of ace lefty Cole Hamels starting Game 4 of the National League Division Series on three days' rest.

After Hamels threw 101 pitches in Game 1 against the Brewers on Wednesday, the possibility was brought up to Phils pitching coach Rich Dubee, who didn't mince words.

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"He'll pitch Game 5 if we have a Game 5," Dubee said. "He hasn't pitched on three days' rest all year. And knowing his makeup, that's probably why he hasn't pitched on three days' rest, because I think he would try to grunt and groan his way through things.

"Jamie [Moyer] pitches on three days and was smart about it; he went softer than soft. Brett [Myers] was very good about it on three days' rest, because he didn't try to attack on velocity and was down in the strike zone."

With that out of the way, it leaves Joe Blanton as the likeliest option to pitch Sunday's Game 4 against Jeff Suppan, if necessary.

A similar debate occurred last season, and the Phillies said they would start Kyle Lohse.

"We haven't discussed [whether Joe Blanton would start Game 4]," manager Charlie Manuel said.

Hamels would have five days' rest heading into Tuesday's Game 5. He has made 26 career starts with that much rest, posting a 3.62 ERA.

Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.