ST. PETERSBURG -- Opting for another right-handed bat against Rays lefty Scott Kazmir in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday night, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel started Chris Coste at designated hitter and batted him eighth.
Who would serve as the DH against lefties was one of the remaining decision facing Manuel, as he will pick from Matt Stairs, Greg Dobbs and Geoff Jenkins against a righty.
Coste ended the season in a 5-for-38 (.132) slump. He had one postseason at-bat prior to the World Series, collecting a hit in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series. But he batted .296 with a .363 on-base percentage vs. lefties this season.
"The first game is very important, and we need to score runs," Manuel said.
Game 1 lineup
1. Jimmy Rollins
2. Jayson Werth
3. Chase Utley
4. Ryan Howard
5. Pat Burrell
6. Shane Victorino
7. Pedro Feliz
8. Chris Coste
9. Carlos Ruiz
Manuel said he also considered DHing Pat Burrell and starting Eric Bruntlett is left field, but felt that would limit his options later in the game should he need to pinch-hit for Bruntlett.
"I didn't like the way it would set up," Manuel said. "Somewhere during the game, I might want to pinch-hit for Bruntlett, which could put us in a bind."
Manuel briefly considered Stairs, despite his being left-handed, but went with Coste because Stairs hadn't played much vs. lefties. Ultimately, Coste said he won't be affected by his recent lack of at-bats.
"I've have a lot of times in my career where I didn't play much and was able to get hits," Coste said on Tuesday. "Then, there's the intensity of being able to flip on a switch with the intensity of the playoffs."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.