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Playing Philadelphia Phillies Manager: Four Moves for NLCS Game 4 and Beyond

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Playing Philadelphia Phillies Manager: Four Moves for NLCS Game 4 and Beyond
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Phillies' skipper Charlie Manuel has played things pretty much straight up over the past two postseasons and has two NL Pennants and a World Series ring to show for it. With his team finding itself down two games to one and the next two contests in AT&T Park, the time is right to veer from previous course. 

San Franciso Giants manager Bruce Bochy adjusted his lineup for Game 3 and it paid large dividends. 

Moving certified Phillies killer Cody Ross up to the five hole put him in position to drive in the games first, and ultimate winning run. The line single to left plated non prototypical leadoff hitter Edgar Renteria, who had started the rally.  

And, former Phil Aaron Rowand got his first start of the postseason in place of Andres Torres, who has provided nothing offensively other than a breeze from his empty whiffs. Rowand, of course, responded with a double and later scored to extend the Giants lead to 3-0. 

Any notion that Jimmy Rollins might have kick started the Phillies offense with his bases loaded double on Sunday night was quickly dismissed with another moribund postseason showing. 

Yes, Matt Cain is pretty good, but the Phillies have owned him prior to his two-hit, no run work over seven innings yesterday. He was 0-3 with a 6.23 ERA against the Phillies coming into the game. 

Cain, Javier Lopez, and the anti-Beach Boy Brian Wilson combined to shutout the Phillies on three hits. They seemingly alternated between striking out Phillies hitters and getting them to hit routine ground balls to second baseman Freddy Sanchez.  

The time has come for Manuel to change things up to perhaps trigger a spark or avoid digging a bigger hole. Here are four suggestions for tonight's game that could make a difference. 

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