SAN FRANCISCO -- Eight of the previous nine times that Phillies manager Charlie Manuel hit Chase Utley second and Placido Polanco third this year, the opposition started a left-handed pitcher.
But Manuel stuck with Utley hitting second and Polanco hitting third Tuesday in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series at AT&T Park, despite the fact the Giants started right-hander Matt Cain. Manuel used the same lineup in Game 2, when the Phils faced lefty Jonathan Sanchez.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it?
"I like the lineup, because when I put Utley there, it gives us two guys at the top that are more apt to run," Manuel said, referring to leadoff hitter Shane Victorino and Utley. "And I feel like also we can -- if I want to -- play hit-and-run baseball with Polanco. He's a contact hitter. And I think I wanted to split Ryan [Howard] and Utley up again."
Phillies not opposed to playing small ball
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Phillies figured they needed to scratch for runs against the Giants in the National League Championship Series.
If they find opportunities to run and play small ball this week at AT&T Park, they will.
"I think that we came into the series wanting to do that," Phils manager Charlie Manuel said Tuesday before Game 3. "And I think that [Shane] Victorino and Jimmy [Rollins] and [Jayson] Werth and [Chase] Utley play a big role in that. If you remember [Sunday] night when Jayson walked, we wanted him to run then. ... So really we talked about that coming in. I mean, we definitely want to speed the game up and like get some action in the game."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.