Halladay expected in Game 1 of eight-day NLDS

Halladay expected in Game 1 of eight-day NLDS

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies ace Roy Halladay seems destined to start Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Oct. 6 at Citizens Bank Park.

It is not official, but the Phillies dropped a couple of hints Tuesday.

Phillies right-hander Kyle Kendrick will pitch Friday against the Braves at Turner Field, which has become a meaningless series for the Phils since they clinched their fourth consecutive NL East title Monday. The club has not announced starters for Saturday or Sunday, but manager Charlie Manuel said after Tuesday's 2-1 loss to the Nationals that Halladay will not pitch this weekend.

It is unclear how they will use Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt, if at all. Oswalt said Tuesday he does not expect to start this weekend. He said he expects to throw longer bullpen sessions to keep sharp for the playoffs.

If they pitch Hamels one more time, he likely will follow Oswalt's program from Tuesday. Oswalt threw 66 pitches in five innings before leaving the game.

Manuel said the Phillies have informed Major League Baseball that they're choosing to play an eight-day NLDS because it allows them the luxury of pitching only Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt on normal rest through the five-game series. Because the Phillies only need three starters, they might carry fewer pitchers in the first round.

The Phillies would like to give left-handers Antonio Bastardo and Mike Zagurski work this week to see if they can carry two lefties in the bullpen. Bastardo struck out the side in the eighth inning Tuesday.

They also suggested lefty Jamie Moyer, who has not pitched since July because of a left elbow injury, could be ready to pitch in the later rounds of the postseason. But Moyer just started throwing off a mound, and he only has thrown four-seam fastballs, which he does not throw in games. He is a ways away from returning.