Now Commenting On:

{"content":["division_series" ] }

Phillies tweak lineup to face Sabathia

Phillies tweak lineup to face Sabathia

PHILADELPHIA -- Preparing to face Brewers ace CC Sabathia in Game 2 of the best-of-five National League Division Series on Thursday, the Phillies altered their lineup.

Manager Charlie Manuel went with an alignment that pushed Jayson Werth to sixth and bumped Shane Victorino to second behind Jimmy Rollins.

complete postseason coverage

Werth went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Game 1 and finished the regular season in a 5-for-35 skid.

"It might help Werth relax a bit," Manuel said. "He's been trying too hard. I told him to slow down and stay on top of the ball more, relax. Also, I like Victorino hitting second off CC. Left-handers that throw hard, especially when Victorino makes the pitcher bring the ball down, he can have strong games at times."

Manuel also stuck with catcher Carlos Ruiz, notable since Chris Coste has caught Game 2 starter Brett Myers most of the season. Coste is 3-for-32 since Aug. 29, and Ruiz has been solid offensively and defensively.

Manuel used this lineup nine times during the regular season, eight times against a lefty starter. The Phillies went 5-4 overall in those games, 5-3 against lefties.

Sabathia isn't just any lefty.

"We know we've got our work cut out," Pat Burrell said. "This guy has been phenomenal for them. You have to give him a lot of credit for what he's done. We've got to find a way to beat him."

Sabathia is 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA in 17 starts for Milwaukee. He's starting on three days' rest for the fourth straight start, and has posted a sparkling 0.83 ERA in the previous three.

The Phillies last faced him on June 20, 2007, when he pitched for the Indians. Sabathia allowed four earned runs in that outing, but won the game.

"We should've beat him last year, but they have some big bats in that lineup that came storming back," Rollins said. "It'll be fun."

It should be more fun for Rollins, who is good with friends with Sabathia. They are both active participants in a program designed to bring baseball back to inner cities, and Sabathia grew up playing Junior Olympic baseball with Rollins' younger brother, Antwon.

Sabathia jokingly tells Rollins he's the best ever.

"He's always texting me that," Rollins said. "I don't respond to that. Dontrelle [Willis] says the same thing. Whenever I make a play in the hole, it's like 'Oh my goodness, I was there when.' And I'm just there like [rolls eyes]."

Phillies' Game 2 Lineup
1.Jimmy RollinsSS
2.Shane VictorinoCF
3.Chase Utley2B
4.Ryan Howard1B
5.Pat BurrellLF
6.Jayson WerthRF
7.Pedro Feliz3B
8.Carlos RuizC
9.Brett MyersP

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

{"content":["division_series" ] }
{"content":["division_series" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español