NEW YORK - He needed the rest, right?

Not really. It was just convenient to keep Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins out of the lineup yesterday.

Rollins was hitting .277 since Aug. 2, but attempted only one steal in that span, a clear indication his legs might be a little heavy.

Right?

Nope.

"Just wanted to give him a day off," manager Charlie Manuel said. "Jimmy's legs are strong."

It might be the last game Manuel can afford to have Rollins miss for a while. The Phils have 3 off-days scheduled the rest of the season, plus two doubleheaders.

Rollins had 23 hits since Aug. 2, 12 for extra bases. He walked only three times, so he was only on first base 14 times. And, with 24 steals already, it's not as if teams aren't expecting him to run.

"I haven't had many chances," Rollins said.

Or much rest.

Yesterday was Rollins' first day off since June 29. He came off the bench to pinch-hit in the ninth (he flied out) and played the field in the bottom of the inning.

Mets arms

Reliever Billy Wagner, who had pitched only once in the majors after missing the entire season to date with Tommy John surgery in September, stranded a runner in his scoreless eighth yesterday. Wagner, who saved 59 games in 66 chances with the Phillies in 2004 and 2005, will pitch within strict parameters at least through early September, said Mets manager Jerry Manuel. That means no back-to-back outings, closely monitored warmup sessions and, ideally, entering the game only to start an inning.

Wagner confirmed yesterday to the Associated Press that the Red Sox claimed him off waivers, but the Mets can pull him back if they don't work out a trade by today. Wagner has a no-trade clause, so he can nix any deal.

He told the AP he wants the Red Sox to decline his $8 million team option for 2010 and guarantee they won't offer him arbitration in the offseason, so that he will be as free as possible to sign with another team.

With 385 saves, Wagner has said he wants 400, but is unlikely to get there as the setup man for Red Sox star closer Jonathan Papelbon.

Meanwhile, the Mets had to send lefty Pat Misch to Triple A Buffalo and replace him with Ken Takahashi. They made the move simply because Misch, who dealt four scoreless innings Sunday after getting shelled in losing Saturday's game, would not have been able to pitch for a couple of days, and the Mets anticipated needing an extra lefty arm facing the Phils' lefty-heavy lineup.

Takahashi relieved starter Bobby Parnell to start the sixth and loaded the bases, but got Chase Utley and Ryan Howard out to escape.

Phillers

The National Baseball Hall of Fame will receive the jersey worn by Phillies infielder Eric Bruntlett when he turned an unassisted tripleplay to end Sunday's game, only the second time in major league history a game has ended that way. It will join Bruntlett's earflap hat from last year's cold Game 5 of the World Series . . . The Phillies promoted 19-year-old defensive standout Freddy Galvis from Class A Clearwater to Double A Reading. Galvis, a shortstop, hit .247 in 63 games. *