Not much happening besides a few workouts and intersquad games while the Halos and Yanks get set for Game 6, but we're overdue for refresher.
How the Phillies do it, or the beat writers for that matter. When you take into account the short offseason, the public relations appearances, spring training, a grueling 162-game schedule and these typically weather-delayed matchups in the Division and Championship series, it's no wonder few defending champs make it back. I'm spent, too, but this long break until the World Series is a welcome respite before that one last push. I'm looking forward to tonight's game. Lefties Joe Saunders and Andy Pettitte are scheduled.
While the Phillies look to stay sharp, Charlie Manuel and crew will begin to weigh their roster options. It's a good bet Ben Francisco will take the field at some point this series with Raul Ibanez serving as designated hitter. It's a way better arrangement than last year's setup. It's just another feather in the cap of Ruben Amaro Jr., as the Cliff Lee deal continues to pay outrageous dividens. Oh and by the way, Francisco has a meaty .928 lifetime OPS (.353 AVG) against the Bombers. Meantime, Brett Myers is throwing again, but I'd have to think he'd play a minor role if he makes the club. Personally, I'd bring him aboard if they decided on 12 pitchers, but if they don't, I'd stick with the unknown Antonio Bastardo, even though the Yankees and Angels aren't deep with lefty bench bats. The Phillies can't be encouraged by what they've seen, situationally, from J.A. Happ.
That said, 12 pitchers is the way to go out of respect for the Yankees' and Angels' lineups and I'd take my chances - should the Yankees close it out tonight - against some of their inexperienced relievers. Obviously, Mariano Rivera is the exception, and represents the single biggest threat on either team. Just a night-and-day difference from Huston Street and Jonathan Broxton.
Final thought. What's up with the managing this postseason? We're lucky to have Charlie.