Philadelphia Phillies: Would Charlie Manuel Not Start Roy Halladay in Game 1?

Joe IannelloAnalyst IIIAugust 11, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 08:  Pitcher Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch against of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning at Dodger Stadium on August 8, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Phillies are an incredible 77-40 on the season and they are running away with the NL East once again. The talk of the Atlanta Braves and their great rotation, dominant bullpen and star-studded young lineup has finally subsided a bit, and it's never to early to start thinking about the postseason.

The Phillies have an interesting dilemma on their hands as they have three pitchers in Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels who could be the a Game 1 starter for almost any team in baseball.

We have seen the brilliance of Lee on the biggest of stages time and time again, and Hamels may be the Phillies' best pitcher since the All-Star break of last season.

Halladay is widely considered the best pitcher in baseball. He proved last year that he can be even more dominant in the postseason after throwing only the second no-hitter in playoff history in his first ever postseason start.

It seems at times that manager Charlie Manuel will secede to the great Halladay when he walks to the mound for a conversation. If Halladay wants to keep pitching, you better believe he is going to keep pitching.

Does Manuel have to at least consider throwing potential NL Cy Young Award winner Cole Hamels in Game 1 of the NLDS? What if Halladay unexpectedly loses a couple of games?

The Phillies have dominated this season because of their pitching, and it seems like whoever is out there finds a way to pitch a gem. You can't expect to have the lowest ERA among starters in MLB without contributions from everyone.

Should Manuel even bother with what has already been one of the greatest seasons ever for a Phillies team? The better question is, would he?

Halladay is clearly an elite pitcher, and this is all hypothetical at this point, but it would be interesting to see if Manuel would be willing to start either Lee or Hamels if Halladay lost three or four consecutive games before the playoffs begin.

Would you consider pitching Halladay after Hamels, Lee or both in a playoff series if Halladay was to struggle down the stretch? Good thing Halladay is the "Doc" and Manuel doesn't seem to ever have to worry about him struggling.