LOS ANGELES -- The Phillies and Crazy Like a Fox Manager Charlie Manuel are at it again.
They named only their Game 1 starter, Cole Hamels, on Wednesday for the NL Championship Series.
Manuel said he'd get back to everybody with further rotation details.
Last round, the Phils named only their first two starters, leaving everybody to guess on their Game 3 starter. J.A. Happ and Joe Blanton were the favorites, which made for a real interesting scenario when Manuel summoned each of them in relief in Game 2.
For the NLCS after Hamels ... based on his starting Monday in Colorado, Cliff Lee probably will pitch Game 3. Happ, who started Sunday in Denver, likely will pitch Game 4.
Which leaves Game 2 a mystery.
Don't look now, but indications are that it could be Pedro.
Manuel said Wednesday that Blanton and Happ would be available out of the bullpen in the "first few games" of this series. Martinez, meantime, threw a simulated game Tuesday in Philadelphia.
Which means, adding two and two, you get ... Martinez as the Phillies' Game 2 starter?
"I'll say this about Blanton: I definitely look at Blanton as a starter," Manuel said a moment after confirming that Blanton would be available out of the bullpen in Game 1. "I told you before, he is the guy that can really set our bullpen up. In front of [Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson] ... give me some leverage in the back, if that makes sense.
"And I feel like he is that guy, ... with the mentality and the go get 'em and the grit and the desire and whatever you want to say."
Regarding Martinez, who has not pitched in a game since Sept. 30 and has thrown only seven innings since Sept. 13, Manuel said he was impressed with Pedro in Tuesday's simulated game.
"His stuff is there," Manuel said. "That speaks for itself. Tremendous, beautiful pitch. And therefore he gets back his command. In order for him to pitch good and win games, he's got to have good command."