Rollins expected back before season finale
Phillies shortstop will participate in simulated game Thursday
PHILADEPLHIA -- A reporter asked Phillies manager Charlie Manuel on Wednesday for the daily Jimmy update.
"Jimmy Thome?" Manuel said.
No, not Thome.
Manuel said Rollins, who has not played since Sept. 8 because of a strained right hamstring, will be ready to play before the regular season ends. It looks like he will. Rollins and rookie outfielder Domonic Brown, who has been sidelined with a strained right quadriceps, will participate in a simulated game Thursday.
Rollins told MLB Network he hopes to play at least six games before the postseason.
Blanton, Kendrick, Hamels to face Mets
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies have shuffled their rotation again.
They will have Joe Blanton, Kyle Kendrick and Cole Hamels face the New York Mets this weekend at Citizens Bank Park. Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Blanton will face the Washington Nationals next week at Nationals Park.
Hamels, Halladay and Oswalt could pitch Oct. 1-3 against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.
The Phils originally had Blanton, Hamels and Halladay scheduled to pitch against the Mets. Having Kendrick pitch Saturday allows the Phillies to give Hamels, Halladay and Oswalt an extra day of rest. If the Phillies clinch the Naational League East before the Oct. 1-3 series in Atlanta, they could have the Big Three pitch just a few innings to give them extra rest before the playoffs, or they could bump one of them for Kendrick.
Offense pounding opposing starters
PHILADELPHIA -- Everybody is talking about Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels, but the Phillies' offense has been pounding opposing starting pitchers lately.
Opposing starters have not lasted five innings in the past seven games. Elias Sports Bureau said the seven-game stretch tied the 1949 New York Giants and the 2006 Phillies for the longest streak in baseball history.
The list does not include former Cy Young Award winners, perfect-game throwers or 20-game winners. But they are big leaguers, and the Phillies will take it:
Tuesday: Braves lefty Mike Minor (three runs in 2 1/3 innings).
Monday: Braves righty Brandon Beachy (three runs in 4 1/3 innings).
Sunday: Nationals righty Yunesky Maya (three runs in 4 2/3 innings).
Saturday: Nationals righty Jordan Zimmermann (five runs in three innings).
Friday: Nationals righty Jason Marquis (six runs in 1/3 inning).
Thursday: Marlins righty Jorge Sosa (six runs in 2 1/3 innings).
Sept. 14: Marlins righty Adalberto Mendez (two runs in 4 1/3 innings).
The last pitcher to pitch five innings against the Phillies was Marlins lefty Andrew Miller, who allowed seven runs in five innings Sept. 13. The last pitcher to throw more than five innings against the Phils was Mets lefty Jon Niese, who allowed three runs in seven innings in Sept. 12.
Clinching early would allow players to rest
PHILADELPHIA -- In a perfect world, the Phillies clinch their fourth consecutive National League East title before the final weekend of the season, which would allow them to rest some of their pitchers and players.
One of those players is third baseman Placido Polanco, who is playing with a bone spur in his left elbow that likely will require surgery after the season.
"We would try to get those guys as much rest as possible," manager Charlie Manuel said. "I'd like to get Polly off his feet. [Thursday] we've got a day off. That's good for Polly. I would like to make sure Polly gets the rest every now and then, if it's possible. But the game is No. 1."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.