Lee's Game 1 win vs. Yanks gives Phils 'pen relief

October 29, 2009

Look what that selfish Cliff Lee did to his manager, Charlie Manuel.

"Our guys need work," Manuel said, referring to his relievers after Lee's brilliant complete game against the Yankees Wednesday night in Game 1 of the World Series.

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"We haven't played (much). They've been throwing on the side. Some threw a simulated game the other day. But (Ryan) Madson, (Brad) Lidge, Scott Eyre, they need work."

No, Manuel isn't going to flip out and empty his bullpen Thursday night just to keep Lidge and Co. sharp. In truth, Lee's 10-strikeout, no-walk, six-hitter set up the Phillies perfectly, giving Manuel options for Game 2 and beyond.

Manuel last used his bullpen eight days ago. Friday is a scheduled day off. If right-hander Pedro Martinez wobbles in Game 2, Manuel can match up for as many innings as he wishes without fear of burning out his relievers.

The Phillies are carrying 12 pitchers. Two of their starters — right-hander Joe Blanton and lefty J.A. Happ — currently are in the bullpen. Manuel, in fact, should treat Game 2 like a bullpen game, if need be.