PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel prefers a set lineup, which has been mostly impossible this season with everyday players Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Placido Polanco, Shane Victorino and Carlos Ruiz spending time on the disabled list.
Polanco even missed Game 1 of the National League Division Series because of a sore back.
But Manuel has found some lineup stability in three consecutive postseason games, including Game 1 of the NL Championship Series on Saturday at Citizens Bank Park: 1. Victorino, CF; 2. Polanco, 3B; 3. Utley, 2B; 4. Howard, 1B; 5. Jayson Werth, RF; 6. Rollins, SS; 7. Raul Ibanez, LF; 8. Ruiz, C; 9. Roy Halladay, P.
Manuel kept Victorino in the leadoff spot as expected. Rollins, who typically hits leadoff, has been slowed since he strained his right hamstring Sept. 8. He missed most of September and has hit .167 (5-for-30) with one double, one home run and four RBIs in nine games, including a 1-for-11 effort in three games against the Cincinnati Reds in the NLDS.
"He's done pretty good there and we've been winning," Manuel said of Victorino in the leadoff spot. "And I'm still wondering if Jimmy, he can steal bases and things like that, just what goes into it. And I also like the balance that I think it adds to our lineup."