When it became clear he wasn’t going to be activated at any point in this postseason, he decided to go ahead with a procedure he knew he was going to eventually need anyway. It will happen on Wednesday, the morning of Game 5. He will have a partial tear of his flexor tendon repaired and a bone spur shaved of the back of the elbow. He is expected to be ready for spring training. He is four-plus arbitration-eligible who avoided a hearing last winter by agreeing at $1.115 million. He had a 6.05 ERA in 38 2/3 innings spanning 41 appearances during the regular season.
Nomar is in at first base, as expected. The other part of the equation is that the bottom of the order was shaken up, with Blake moving to sixth, Kemp dropping to seventh and DeWitt now hitting eighth. Nomar’s career postseason stats are fairly impressive. He is batting .318 (34 for 107) with a .380 on-base percentage, a .598 slugging percentage, seven HRs and 23 RBI.
He’ll get the ball on Monday night on three days’ rest. If there is a Game 7 back in Philly, he would be going on normal rest for that one. Joe Torre said earlier that he personally hasn’t had much success as a manager going with starting pitchers on three days’ rest, but as a sinkerballer who doesn’t rely heavily on velocity, Lowe would seem to be the one type of pitcher who shouldn’t be affected much by it. A side benefit to this, Torre said, is that Chad Billingsley, who is probably itching to get back on the mound after that disaster in Game 2, will get to do so sooner. He’ll go in Game 5 on Wednesday night on regular rest after the off-day Tuesday. … In other news, Nomar will start tomorrow night against Jamie Moyer, whom he hits extremely well, and it SOUNDS like it probably will be at first base, because that position will be easier on Nomar’s body and because it will allow Torre to rest James Loney against the lefty. Also, Takashi Saito will NOT go to the Arizona Instructional League to pitch in a game. He will stay here throughout this series and pitch in a simulated game, at a date yet to be determined, so Rick Honeycytt can watch him closely.
Much like last night, there was a ball that would have gone out of just about any other part of the ballpark, this one a drive by Casey Blake in the seventh that would have gone for a three-run, game-tying homer, but it came down at that distant part of the wall in left-center, and Shane Victorino made a leaping catch. Chad Billingsley was awful in the second after striking out the first two batters and then giving up a bouncing single up the middle to Greg Dobbs. Phils went on to score four in that inning and four in the next one, too, chasing Billingsley after 2 1/3 innings. Yes, the Dodgers are going home for the next three. Yes, Joe Torre’s Yankees blew a 3-0 lead in the 2004 American League Championship Series. But that’s all secondary to the fact this team is down 2-0 and absolutely MUST win Game 3 in the twilight on Saturday at Dodger Stadium. It could be worse. But it couldn’t be much worse.
Still no starter for Game 4. Torre says Lowe is still a possibility, but my money’s on Kershaw. … Charlie Manuel will manage today, but after that, it remains up in the air. June Manuel was 87 and still lived, according to Phillies PR chief Greg Casterioto, in the same house where Charlie and his nine siblings grew up. She had gone into the hospital earlier this week and passed this morning. … The shadows are already almost all the way across the infield, so they shouldn’t be much of a factor come game time, which is still about an hour away. It is an absolutely gorgeous autumn day here, and the game time temp is going to be well into the 70s.