Manuel hoping to give his 'pen a breather

Manuel hoping to give his 'pen a breather

ST. LOUIS -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is hoping his bullpen can get a little bit of rest.

In two wins during the four-game series in St. Louis entering Saturday, Manuel's bullpen has been called on more than the manager would like. Starter Joe Blanton lasted just 4 1/3 innings on Thursday, and five different hurlers were used in relief. Four pitchers were used out of the bullpen in a 4-3 win in extra innings on Friday night.

"Our bullpen's had some work," Manuel said Saturday afternoon.

Manuel said after the victory on Friday that he wanted to give both setup man Antonio Bastardo and reliever Chad Qualls the night off, which he was able to do. Bastardo and Qualls each threw on Thursday, with Bastardo throwing 27 pitches over an inning, and Qualls throwing 20 in 1 2/3 innings. Manuel said that both Bastardo and Qualls were available on Saturday.

"We got to stay away from Bastardo," Manuel said. "That was good. He's been getting up and also getting out."

Both Jake Diekman and Raul Valdes pitched on Thursday and Friday. Diekman tossed one-third of an inning in each, while Valdes picked up the win in each game. Valdes went two-thirds of an inning on Thursday, and a threw a scoreless ninth inning on Friday.