10/25/09 6:07 PM EST
If ALCS goes seven, Phils could hold edge
Game 7 might tip starting pitching matchups to Philly
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
New York or Anaheim, they said Sunday it really doesn't matter much to them. But even they acknowledge that if the American League Championship Series extends to a decisive Game 7 on Monday night, it could help them in the sense that the New York Yankees would start CC Sabathia and the Los Angeles Angels would likely pitch John Lackey. That would make them unavailable in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday.
"That's looking a little bit too far ahead, especially for this ball club," Phillies second baseman Chase Utley said following a workout at Citizens Bank Park. "But both CC and Lackey are No. 1 starters, and those guys for the most part can win a lot of games. So not having to face those guys two or three times is obviously an advantage for us."
The Yankees have not been afraid to pitch Sabathia on short rest. If the Yankees can win Game 6 Sunday night and save Sabathia, he theoretically could start Games 1, 4 and 7 of the World Series.
The Phillies said they could pitch left-hander Cliff Lee on short rest, but that seems less likely because he has never pitched on short rest before.
"Guys are in tune with what's happening because it directly affects our travel and who we're going to play," left fielder Raul Ibanez said. "But at the same time, they're both great teams. We're not really concerned with who we play. It's about where we're going to play. With this club we don't really think about [the starting pitching] either way. You just prepare for the situation and then get after whoever it is."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.