- The Washington Times - Friday, October 9, 2009

PHILADELPHIA | The Philadelphia Phillies might not know who’s going to start Game 3 of their National League Division Series with the Colorado Rockies on Saturday, or they might just be playing coy.

Either way, manager Charlie Manuel still wasn’t ready to pick a starter out of his stockpile of options for Saturday’s game in Denver, though there at least were indications Pedro Martinez was being held back from pitching in the bullpen, possibly for a future start.

The 37-year-old right-hander has pitched only once since Sept. 19. But Manuel said Martinez would be capable of throwing 90 to 100 pitches. And like in Wednesday’s Game 1, he wasn’t in the bullpen with Joe Blanton and J.A. Happ, the other two candidates to start Game 3.

The chances of Martinez being the choice increased exponentially during the game, when Manuel called on both Blanton and Happ in relief. Happ left the game after facing one batter with a left lower leg contusion, and Blanton faced the possibility of coming back to start after pitching in the bullpen, which he has never done before.

Manuel said the Phillies likely would make a decision Friday.

When asked whether he anticipated Martinez getting in a game in the series, Manuel said yes but wouldn’t elaborate. And he wasn’t worried about his starters not having enough time to know when they would be called upon.

“They’re going to be ready,” Manuel said. “They’ll know. They’ll be ready.”

X-rays on Happ’s leg, which was hit on a drive from pinch-hitter Seth Smith, were negative. Manuel said he should be fine after receiving treatment.

Tracy stays prepared

After Cliff Lee pitched a complete game in the first game of the series, the Rockies didn’t know who Philadelphia’s closer would be, in addition to having no idea who would pitch for the Phillies on Saturday.

But Rockies manager Jim Tracy said the uncertainty didn’t bother him.

“It doesn’t affect my ability to plan ahead,” he said. “I can tell you about Cliff Lee, but I don’t know anything about their bullpen. You know, you have different situations for different guys on your bench, and I’ve prepared for the roster that was officially put in place. So you feel comfortable that if the game unfolds and they do some different things, you’ll have some potential answers.”

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