Notes: Rotation shuffled for final week

Notes: Rotation shuffled for run

PHILADELPHIA -- With every one of Philadelphia's remaining 10 games of utmost importance, the Phillies are trying to glean every possible advantage.

For this reason, they have slightly altered their starting rotation for this weekend's series against the Marlins, going with Cole Hamels, Jon Lieber and Jamie Moyer, and pushing Randy Wolf to Monday's game against the Astros.

Projecting the rotation to the final week of the regular season against the Nationals and Marlins shows where the Phillies gain the advantage. This move means that Lieber will start Sept. 28 in Washington rather than Sept. 29 in Miami.

At Dolphin Stadium, Lieber is 5-5 with a 5.86 ERA in 15 career starts. This season, he's allowed eight runs in 11 1/3 innings there. Though it's a much smaller sample size, his ERA is 4.15 at RFK Stadium.

So it's all about Florida.

The shift doesn't appear to have any postseason implications. Brett Myers would still start the regular-season finale on Oct. 1 against the Marlins, a game that should have major importance for the Phillies. Hamels would also be ready for either a one-game playoff against the Dodgers or Padres on Monday, or for Game 1 of the National League Division Series in St. Louis, Los Angeles or San Diego. Wherever it is, the series would begin on Oct. 4.

Assuming Hamels is needed for a one-game playoff, the Phillies could go with Lieber and Moyer for Games 1 and 2, then have Myers for Game 3.

Playing through it: Shane Victorino would rather not discuss the painful left wrist that now gets taped before every game.

He simply won't let it keep him out of the lineup.

"I should be playing, really," Victorino said. "These games are important."

With 11 games remaining and a realistic shot at the postseason, Victorino's services are needed more than ever. His absence would mean untested rookies Michael Bourn or Chris Roberson potentially manning center field in meaningful games.

Victorino sprained the wrist crashing into Marlins catcher Miguel Olivo while scoring on Sept. 9. He also hurt his shoulder, which masked the wrist pain until his shoulder felt better. He said it doesn't affect his aggressive fielding, but hurts swinging the bat.

Hitting second, Victorino had gone 5-for-38 entering Wednesday's game, dropping his average 18 points to .279, though he doubled in his first at-bat on Wednesday.

It presents a quandary for manager Charlie Manuel, who must balance the need for Victorino with the center fielder's health.

"I'm concerned about it," Manuel said. "I talk to him a lot about it. He's fine, but it's bothering him. I want to know how bad it is, then I'll determine whether he's in there. I want him playing. We have a short number of games and I want him playing."

Thanks, Jim: Manuel was pleased to see Pirates manager Jim Tracy take it to his former team Tuesday night, since a Pirates win over the Dodgers brought the Phillies to within a game of the Wild Card lead.

"I'm glad Tracy is trying to whip his old team," Manuel said. "We need that."

Quotable: "That big boy can roll. Once he got between second and third, he was going pretty good. I was watching. I was wondering if he could touch third base. Big Boy, I didn't like that head-first slide. Somebody has to talk to him about that head-first slide. He's going to hurt himself." -- Cubs manager Dusty Baker, on Ryan Howard, who scored from first on a head-first slide Tuesday when David Dellucci doubled in the fifth inning

Philling in: The Phillies entered Wednesday's game with 203 homers, the second-highest total in club history. They are 13 away from breaking the club record of 215, set in 2004.

Coming up: Hamels, who starts Friday's series opener against Ricky Nolasco and the Marlins, bedazzled the Astros for the second time in two weeks on Sept. 16 with 7 2/3 solid innings and only two runs allowed. He began with 6 2/3 no-hit innings, then surrendered just three hits and struck out 11.

The lefty has won four of his previous six decisions, and has three outings this season of 11-plus whiffs.

Ken Mandel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.