06/28/09 7:18 PM ET
Manuel to bat Rollins leadoff in return
Philadelphia (39-34) at Atlanta (35-40), 7 p.m. ET
By David Singh / Special to MLB.com
The struggling shortstop has not appeared in a game since Wednesday because Phillies manager Charlie Manuel wanted to give Rollins a chance to rest and take his mind off the game.
"I felt it was very important to let him sit over there and kind of get a clear mind when I put him back there so he's fresh," Manuel said. "He's starting all over."
Rollins is hitting just .211 on the season. Over 21 games in June, he has posted a .176 average (16-for-91).
Manuel has been speaking to Rollins -- who's declined numerous interview requests -- on a daily basis, including a long chat Saturday.
Manuel feels that the time off has helped Rollins considerably.
"I think it did," said Manuel. "That's why I wanted to do it. I think it's going to help. We'll see the way he performs and the way he goes about playing."Pitching matchup
PHI: RHP Joe Blanton (4-4, 5.06 ERA)
Blanton made one mistake on Wednesday in a 7-1 loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field -- he threw a fastball over the middle of the plate that former Phillies left fielder Pat Burrell hit for a two-run home run. It would be the only runs Blanton would allow in seven innings against the Rays. He surrendered just six hits, two runs and two walks. He also struck out 10. In his past six starts, Blanton is 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA, having allowed 12 earned runs in 39 1/3 innings. With other Phillies starters struggling, the club need Blanton to deliver another strong outing. ATL: RHP Derek Lowe (7-6, 4.53 ERA)
Before Thursday, Lowe had not faced the Yankees since 2004, when he was pitching for the Red Sox. After his trying outing last Thursday, he probably doesn't want to see them for another five years. Lowe was pounded to the tune of 11 hits and six earned runs in just three innings. The outing is starting to signal a troubling trend for the big right-hander, as he has now been hit hard in two of his past three starts. He gave up seven earned runs in 2 1/3 innings on June 14 in Baltimore. Tidbits
Philadelphia right fielder Jayson Werth has reached base safely in 10 straight plate appearances. In the three-game series in Toronto, he went 6-for-8 with a double, two homers, four RBIs and five walks. ... The Phillies ended Interleague Play with a 6-12 record. They were 1-8 at home and 5-4 on the road. Tickets
Buy tickets now to catch the game in person. On the Internet
Official game notes On television
CSN On radio
WPHT 1210, WUBA 1480 (Español) Up next
Wednesday: Phillies (Cole Hamels, 4-4, 4.44) at Braves (Jair Jurrjens, 5-6, 2.93), 7 p.m. ET
Thursday: Phillies (TBD) at Braves (Javier Vazquez, 5-7, 3.04), 7 p.m. ET
Friday: Phillies (J.A. Happ, 5-0, 3.00) vs. Mets (TBD), 7:05 p.m. ET
David Singh is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.