PHILADELPHIA -- On the fourth day, Jamie Moyer will pitch. The Phillies' veteran lefty will work on three days of rest to face the Brewers Thursday, for the start of a four-game series with major playoff implications. Manager Charlie Manuel announced the move Wednesday, but tipped his hand Tuesday night, when he used J.A. Happ in relief of Kyle Kendrick.
"I've done it," said Moyer, who has started on three days' rest 14 times and posted a 4.12 ERA. "I don't think it's that big of an issue. It's my responsibility. I'm trying to do my job to the best that I can. If it's on short rest, so be it. "Sometimes you can be pretty sharp with an extra day or two extra days or you could be too strong." Moyer said he approached Manuel before Saturday's rainout and offered his willingness to pitch in a four-man rotation, if necessary. That's a possibility that the manager and pitching coach Rich Dubee are considering, or at least pitching the quartet Cole Hamels, Moyer, Brett Myers and Joe Blanton on regular rest. If Myers starts Sunday on three days' rest, two off-days could allow the Phillies to need a fifth starter on one day, and J.A. Happ or Adam Eaton can take that turn. Moyer pitched the first game of Sunday's day-night doubleheader, in which he held the Mets scoreless on two hits in seven innings, then told his manager that he thought he'd be ready for Thursday's start, if necessary. He felt fine after throwing a bullpen session on Tuesday, sealing the decision. The 45-year-old has been the Phillies' most consistent starting pitcher this season, leading the team in wins (13) and has held opponents to three runs or fewer in 16 of his last 17 starts. "He's in tremendous shape, and he's prepared," Manuel said. Moyer last started on three days' rest on July 6, 2004. The Brewers won on Wednesday, meaning they'll enter Philadelphia with no worse than a three-game lead in the Wild Card race.
Kevin Horan is an associate reporter for MLB.com and Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.