Saturday, October 10, 2009

It's Official- Game 3 Postponed Until Sunday

Phillies Practice for Game 3 of NLDS

Major League Baseball did the sensible thing and cancelled tonight's game between the Phillies and Rockies. The postponement means that game 4 will be played on Monday, eliminating the travel day. As things stand now, if necessary, a deciding game 5 would be played in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

The temperature in Denver was 18 degrees with snow falling at the time of the decision, so making the call early to cancel was the right thing to do. The forecast for tomorrow calls for snow to end through the early morning and warm up to a high of 52 degrees, but will drop back into the 40's by game time tomorrow night.

The decision could very well alter Charlie Manuel's pitching plans. He hinted at it yesterday, and may choose to go with J.A. Happ on Sunday evening, followed by Cliff Lee on Monday and Cole Hamels on Tuesday if the series goes to five games. This does not reflect a lack of confidence in Martinez, but rather the reduced effectiveness of the Rockies against left-handed pitching. A more subtle factor is the notion that Martinez's breaking ball may have less bite in the thin mountain air of Denver; whereas, Happ relies more on spotting fastballs.

All reports suggest that Happ has shaken off the bruised knee that caused Manuel to pull him from Thursday's game. Manuel has also suggested that the other possible starting candidate, Joe Blanton, would be very valuable working out of the pen.

It is good that Bud Selig does not want to repeat the mistakes he made in last year's World Series when the Phillies and Rays played through pouring rain into the wee hours of the morning. No one wants players to go out in weather conditions that could compromise play and interject more chance into the outcome. Lets hope that, in deed, the temperature warms up and precipitation subsides tomorrow in Denver as currently predicted.

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