Cole Hamels

to the list of Philadelphians irritated by playoff day games.

Major League Baseball and its broadcast partners assigned the Phillies and Colorado Rockies to a pair of 2:37 p.m. starts to begin their playoff series. The former World Series MVP, who starts today, felt that his team and city deserved better.

"In being the defending champs, I think it's kind of a little weird that we get both games at 2 o'clock," Hamels said. "I don't think it's fair. I definitely don't think it's fair to the fans, because this is all about the home-field advantage.

"I understand TV ratings, but I think at the end of the day, most players would rather play when they're comfortable. That's kind of what we're trained at, either 1 o'clock or 7 o'clock, and I think that's more fair to us than really the TV ratings. I don't think we [care] as much for TV ratings."

Hamels was 0-6, with a 5.44 earned run average, in day games this year; pitching at night, he was 10-5, with a 3.95 ERA.

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. did not share Hamels' view. "Somebody else handles that stuff," he said. "I don't worry about that stuff. It doesn't really matter, does it?"

Is Bastardo ready?

The Phillies included rookie lefthander

Antonio Bastardo

on the roster, a risky move because Bastardo has pitched in relief just once in his major-league career. In this series, Bastardo likely will be used against lefthanded hitters in the middle innings.

The 24-year-old spent most of September pitching in Clearwater, Fla, instead of acquiring major-league relief experience.

"He was down there because we didn't think we would need him," Amaro said. "We thought we would get J.C. [Romero] back, and we didn't need the extra bodies around."

But Romero never recovered from an elbow injury. As planned, he underwent surgery yesterday to repair a torn flexor tendon and is expected to recover in five to six months.

With that injury, Bastardo was thrust into an important job against a lefty-heavy Rockies team.

"He touched 93, 94 m.p.h. when he was down in Clearwater," Amaro said. "He is probably more suited to the bullpen long-term."

Tough call on Bruntlett


Charlie Manuel

said that he faced a difficult decision in excluding

Eric Bruntlett

from the division series roster in favor of

Miguel Cairo

, but it came down to which of the two was more game-ready.

"Bruntlett, the fact that he was on the team all year long, and the work he put in, and the part he played on our team, that was tough," Manuel said. "That was a tough decision. But in the end, I felt like Cairo went to the minor leagues, he had playing time, and he was sharper. He was swinging the bat better, and I felt like he was in a position probably to help us more because of it."

Pedro in relief

Manuel said that

Pedro Martinez

will be available to pitch in relief today, as will

J.A. Happ


Joe Blanton

. If none of those pitchers is needed from the bullpen, Happ and Blanton are likely to start Games 3 and 4 in a yet-to-be-determined order.

Park improving

Chan Ho Park

(hamstring) will throw a bullpen session this morning, then expects to travel to Clearwater for rehabilitation. He said he hoped to rejoin the team for a potential NLCS.

Lee's steal

Cliff Lee

's stolen base in the third inning yesterday was the first by a Phillies pitcher in postseason history. Manuel was initially perplexed by the play, but later accepted Lee's excuse that he was told to steal by trusted first-base coach

Davey Lopes


"I thought, 'What the hell is he doing?' " Manuel said. "But he said the right thing when he came back. He talked about Davey Lopes."