Pedro, Blanton, Happ up for Game 3 nod
Manuel to name starter Saturday; all three ready to go
PHILADELPHIA -- And the Phillies' Game 3 starter in the National League Division Series is:
a) Left-hander J.A. Happ.
b) Right-hander Joe Blanton.
c) Right-hander Pedro Martinez.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel would not say who it would be following Thursday's 5-4 loss to the Rockies in Game 2 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park, perhaps because he used both Blanton and Happ in relief appearances, with Happ getting hurt in the process. Manuel said the Phils would discuss their options on the flight to Denver for Game 3 on Saturday at Coors Field, but Happ, Blanton and Martinez each said they are willing and able to pitch Saturday.
Martinez seemed to think it will be him.
"I've been around long enough to know that it's my turn," he said. "According to the way everything went today, I'm supposed to get some action in there. And I'm looking forward to getting an opportunity to help this team. Hopefully, I'll be able to do that."
Blanton (12-8, 4.05 ERA) threw 19 pitches in relief to five batters Thursday. He said Manuel knows he can bounce back quickly.
"I think he knows I will be ready," Blanton said.
Happ (12-4, 2.93 ERA) replaced Blanton in the seventh, but faced just one batter after a line drive hit him just below his left kneecap. The Phillies said Happ has a bruised lower left leg. X-rays were negative. Happ threw a couple practice pitches after the ball hit his leg, but he didn't stay in the game.
"He was trying to stay out there," Manuel said. "When he got up on the mound to throw, his back leg was shaking and when he was landing he was having a hard time staying on his feet. He was wanting to try and he was wanting to stay in there, but he couldn't say in there."
|Gm. 1||PHI 5, COL 1||Wrap||Video|
|Gm. 2||COL 5, PHI 4||Wrap||Video|
|Gm. 3||PHI 6, COL 5||Wrap||Video|
|Gm. 4||PHI 5, COL 4||Wrap||Video|
A leg injury could preclude Happ from being an option Saturday -- Manuel said after the game that "right now I'd say it's between Blanton and Pedro" -- but Happ said he is fine, and could have remained in the game if he had a few more minutes to compose himself.
"Absolutely not," said Happ, asked if he considers himself out of the mix. "I feel like I'd be ready. I don't anticipate it being an issue."
Told that Manuel said Saturday's starter likely would be Blanton or Martinez, Happ was surprised.
"He said that?" he said. "I should probably go in there. I think we'll have to talk."
Martinez (5-1, 3.63 ERA) has pitched just once since Sept. 19, and not since Sept. 30, when he threw just four innings against Houston. He said the long layoff would be more of a concern than the forecast of cold temperatures and snow.
Happ and Blanton said the weather is not a concern, either.
"Probably like 15-0," Blanton joked, asked what his cold weather record is.
"I'm not worried about that," Happ said. "If I do throw, I'm sure I'll have plenty of blood flowing to be warm."
Blanton, Martinez or Happ? Manuel said it's between Blanton and Martinez, and Martinez said he has been around long enough to know it is him.
Manuel said he will announce his starter Friday.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.