Jimmy Rollins expects to start today after getting benched by Charlie Manuel midway through yesterday's game for jogging to first on a fly ball that was dropped in shallow leftfield by Reds shortstop Paul Janish.

Although Manuel declined to elaborate on his thought process for sitting his MVP shortstop at the start of the fifth inning, he met with Rollins after the game and told the media it was "a done issue."

Rollins expects to be back in the lineup. Eric Bruntlett, who scored a run and made a nice diving stop of a grounder to save a run in the eighth inning, expects to return to the bench.

And the Phillies, winners of eight of their last 10, expect to embark on what should be a grueling road trip with the satisfaction of having moved 10 games over .500.

"It's my fault. I can't get mad at him," Rollins said after the game. "That's like breaking the law and getting mad that the police show up."

Without using that dreaded athletic cliche, Rollins essentially said after the game that it is what it is.

In the third inning, Rollins hit what he thought was an inning-ending popup. He put his head down and jogged casually to first. But Janish failed to make the play, and Carlos Ruiz scored from second. Had Rollins gone full speed, he might have reached second and put another runner in scoring position with two outs. It turned out to be a moot point, as Shane Victorino flied out to end the inning.

But after Rollins - who remained in the game for the next half inning - returned to the dugout, Manuel informed him that Bruntlett would be replacing him.

"We talked about it before," Rollins said. "He's been here 4 years, he's told me maybe twice. So three strikes and you're out."

Manuel declined to discuss specifics of the decision, saying, "Jimmy and I took care of that." *