PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel prefers a set lineup, which has been mostly impossible this season with everyday players Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Placido Polanco, Shane Victorino and Carlos Ruiz spending time on the disabled list.
Polanco even missed Game 1 of the National League Division Series because of a sore back.
But Manuel has found some lineup stability in three consecutive postseason games, including Game 1 of the NL Championship Series on Saturday at Citizens Bank Park: 1. Victorino, CF; 2. Polanco, 3B; 3. Utley, 2B; 4. Howard, 1B; 5. Jayson Werth, RF; 6. Rollins, SS; 7. Raul Ibanez, LF; 8. Ruiz, C; 9. Roy Halladay, P.
Manuel kept Victorino in the leadoff spot as expected. Rollins, who typically hits leadoff, has been slowed since he strained his right hamstring Sept. 8. He missed most of September and has hit .167 (5-for-30) with one double, one home run and four RBIs in nine games, including a 1-for-11 effort in three games against the Cincinnati Reds in the NLDS.
"He's done pretty good there and we've been winning," Manuel said of Victorino in the leadoff spot. "And I'm still wondering if Jimmy, he can steal bases and things like that, just what goes into it. And I also like the balance that I think it adds to our lineup."
Oswalt muses on possible Berkman matchup
PHILADELPHIA -- Roy Oswalt officially joined the Phillies on July 29. Lance Berkman officially joined the New York Yankees on July 31.
The longtime Astros teammates left the only franchise they had known as Houston built for the future. There is a chance they could meet each other in the World Series if the Phillies beat the San Francisco Giants in the National League Championship Series and the Yankees beat the Texas Rangers in the American League Championship Series.
"We talked about this when we both got traded," Oswalt said Saturday before Game 1. "If we face each other in the last game, it would be a little weird. The last time I faced him was in Spring Training. Just [batting practice], tell him what's coming. This time, I won't tell him what's coming."
Phils fans welcome Burrell back with boos
PHILADELPHIA -- Former Phillies outfielder Pat Burrell heard a smattering of boos before his first at-bat against his former team in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Saturday night.
Burrell, an integral part of the 2008 World Series championship team and the Phillies' left fielder for nine seasons, only heard cheers at the end of his at-bat -- when the Giants outfielder struck out against Roy Halladay.
Manager Charlie Manuel addressed the emotions of facing Burrell on Friday.
"I'm not going to let my heart overrule something we're going for," Manuel said. "I like Pat Burrell. I like him like he's a good friend of mine. He's like my son in a lot of ways. I spent a lot of time with him. When we walk out there to play baseball, we're going to get him out. That's what we're out there for."
This is the ninth time the Phillies have played in the National League Championship Series and the second time they have played in three consecutive NLCS. They previously accomplished the feat from 1976-78. Philadelphia also played in the NLCS in 1983 and '93. The franchise is 5-3 in the NLCS. ... The Phillies entered Game 1 on Saturday with a 20-16 record in NLCS games. ... Former Phils closer Tom Gordon, who was an NL All-Star in 2006, is working with Sirus XM's baseball coverage during the NLCS.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.