Roy Halladay starts tonight for the Phillies. If form holds, he'll pitch at least seven innings. If he keeps that up for the rest of the regular season, he'll come close to his career high in innings pitched, 266, for the Blue Jays in 2003.
And that's before you begin factoring in how much more work he could log in the postseason, unexplored territory for the 33-year-old righthander.
"By the time we get through with the postseason [if the Phillies reach the World Series], he could be up around 300 innings," Charlie Manuel said before last night's 1-0 win over the Brewers. "When you start going deep into the playoffs, you've got to remember, the workload greatly increases from what he's used to doing, too."
The manager said that's something he and pitching coach Rich Dubee will monitor as they decide how to set up their rotation the rest of the season. But he also expressed confidence that both Halladay and Roy Oswalt are workhorses who can handle whatever is required to give the team the best chance to win.
"I think [Halladay] will handle the postseason well. I like our chances," he said with a smile. "And the best thing about it is him and Oswalt have both pitched on short rest. They have that experience, and I think that's very big. That's a plus for us, because they've already done it."
Halladay has pitched on 3 days' rest as a starter six times in his career and is 4-2, 2.79 in those games. Oswalt is 4-1, 2.59 in five starts on short rest, although both have done it only once since 2007.
On the last road trip, the Phillies had just one real option when looking for a lefthanded pinch-hitter: rookie Domonic Brown.
Now, after a pair of roster moves yesterday, Charlie Manuel's choices have been expanded dramatically. Ross Gload (right groin strain) was activated from the disabled list and Greg Dobbs had his contract selected from Triple A Lehigh Valley.
While Gload has been the team's primary lefthanded pinch-hitter this year, Dobbs might have benefited from getting regular at-bats with the IronPigs. In his last six games, he hit .391 with two home runs and eight RBI. As a pinch-hitter in the majors this year, he was 5-for-42 (.119).
Mike Sweeney was hit on the hand by a pitch in Colorado on Thursday night and Placido Polanco was drilled on his already sore elbow. But Polanco started last night and Sweeney said he would be available.
"It's a little sore. Not bad," Sweeney said. "I'm the second oldest of eight kids, and they always told us if it hurts, rub a little dirt on it."
Polanco has been bothered much of the season by the elbow, which is expected to require surgery at the end of the season. But, for the most part, he's been able to play through it.
"He got hit on the funny bone. He checked out OK. That shows who he is. He's always a tough player," Charlie Manuel said.