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Come To Think Of It: Phillies Must Pitch Cliff Lee on Short Rest

Bob Warja@@bobwarjaSenior Writer INovember 1, 2009

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 28:  (L-R) Cliff Lee #34 and Carlos Ruiz #51 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrate after their 6-1 win against the New York Yankees in Game One of the 2009 MLB World Series at Yankee Stadium on October 28, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

It's one thing to say that Cliff Lee won't pitch Game Four of the World Series when the series is tied at a game apiece and your Phillies have a chance to go up 2-1.

But now that the Yankees have taken a series lead, to bypass your ace and risk falling behind 3-1 is a crime.

I haven't disagreed with much of what Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has decided over the last couple of years. But look, your back is against the wall. You simply cannot fall behind 3-1.

If the Phillies lose Game Five, the series is effectively over. Sure, they could come back, but the odds would be stacked against them. Having to win two in a row when the seventh game would be in New York is a tall order.

With everything on the line, then, why not pitch Lee in Game Four? Well, for one, he hasn't pitched on short rest all season. But hey, this is the World Series. He has all winter to rest up.

No, Lee doesn't guarantee the Phils a victory. And no, pitching Joe Blanton isn't necessarily a bad thing. But why not go with your ace in such a crucial situation?

After all, Joe Girardi's Yankees have said that CC Sabathia will pitch on short rest.

Sure, it could blow up in the Phillies' faces.Β  But at least they would go down behind their best.

I'm telling you, if the Phillies don't pitch Lee in Game Four, and all signs point to that being a fact, then good luck.

But it will be a crime, come to think of it.

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