WHEN CURT Schilling was the Phillies ace, he had only one request of the manager on the days he pitched. Write out the rest of the lineup with the best defensive team possible behind him. If his defense was airtight, Schill figured, he wouldn't need that many runs to win.
There were a few good reasons for Charlie Manuel to give Placido Polanco a rest yesterday even though Roy Halladay was on the mound. The third baseman is 1-for-15 in his career against knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, who started for the Red Sox on an overcast afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. He was 4-for-23 on the homestand. And he's kind of beat up.
"He's got little aches and pains," the manager said, adding that with the Phillies having an open date today it gave Polanco 2 days off while missing just one game.
Maybe it wouldn't have mattered in what turned out to be an 8-3 Boston win. But in the top of the fourth, with the Red Sox protecting a 1-0 lead, Halladay had the bases loaded with one out with dangerous Adrian Beltre at the plate.
Needing a ground ball, he got it. Beltre rapped the ball right at Greg Dobbs who was filling in at third . . .
And it went right between his legs as two runs scored.
"I just missed it. I let [Halladay] down," Dobbs said.
Added Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis: "We had a one-run lead that turned into a three-run lead, and that made a big difference."
Halladay, instead, pointed to the sixth inning when he was knocked out after allowing four runs.
"It might have saved me a couple runs. But, for me, I think the sixth inning was big," he said. "To me, that's where the game kind of got out of hand. Those things are going to happen. I feel like the pitches that cost me were in the sixth. That's where the game got opened up. And against a guy who was rolling at the time, that makes it tough."
ESPNChicago.com is reporting that the Phillies are among teams scouting White Sox relievers. According to the story, a "top Philadelphia scout" has been shadowing Chicago and is concentrating on closer Bobby Jenks in case the Sox fall out of contention in the upcoming weeks.
It went on the say that the Phils are also interested in righthander J.J. Putz.
It would make sense for the Phillies to be exploring all options since closer Brad Lidge is back on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation following offseason surgery. Any trade interest could evaporate if Lidge and setup reliever Ryan Madson (broken right big toe) are believed to be on track to return at full strength.
Lidge long-tossed in the outfield before yesterday's game against the Red Sox. He will throw bullpens tomorrow and Thursday and is shooting for a short rehab assignment by next weekend.
"And, hopefully, that will be it," he said. "It feels like [the inflammation is completely gone]. Now the key is to keep it out and I think we've figured some things out. I don't think we need to keep our fingers crossed. Hopefully it's one and done."
Backup catcher Brian Schneider (left Achilles' strain) made his third rehab appearance for Triple A Lehigh Valley yesterday. Barring a setback, he could be activated in time for tomorrow night's game against the Mets.