Happ gets Game 3 nod; Pedro to bullpen

Originally Published: October 10, 2009
ESPN.com news services

The Philadelphia Phillies figured a well-rested Pedro Martinez would be the best option to start Game 3.

That was before snow and bitter cold in Denver forced Saturday's postponement of their series with the Colorado Rockies.

Changing course but not conviction, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said rookie J.A. Happ would take the mound when the series resumes Sunday at 10:07 p.m. ET.

Manuel It's been 10 or 11 days since Pedro Martinez pitched in a game. And also, the weather had something to do with it.

-- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel

"It's been 10 or 11 days since Pedro Martinez pitched in a game," Manuel said of the right-hander. "And also, the weather had something to do with it."

A cold front moved into the area overnight, dropping temperatures into the teens with record lows for the date. Coors Field was covered with a thin layer of snow and ice Saturday morning and flurries were expected to continue through the night.

Manuel said Martinez will be available to pitch out of the bullpen over the next couple of days and that he now plans to start Cliff Lee in Game 4 and Cole Hamels in Game 5 if there is one.

"What comes into play is that Cliff Lee is on his regular rest," Manuel said. "And we like left-handed pitchers against Colorado. And I think that gives us the strongest way to go about it."

The Rockies went 27-26 against left-handed starters during the season and 65-44 against righties.

If the Yankees and Angels finish off sweeps of the Twins and Red Sox respectively on Sunday, the Phillies-Rockies game Monday is expected to be played at 7 p.m. ET. If one of the AL series is still alive, the Phillies and Rockies would tentatively play at 5 p.m. If both AL series are still going, the Phillies-Rockies game would be at 2 p.m.

The NL Division Series is tied at one game each.

Before recording an out, Happ was knocked out of Game 2 on Thursday after taking a hard liner off his left leg in the seventh inning, an injury the lefty called a "nonissue" on Saturday.

"Yesterday, when I went to the ballpark, I looked at his leg," Manuel said. "He was standing by his locker, and I went over and looked at his leg. I saw some swelling over on the side. But his leg was actually in good shape. It was healed and everything. Our trainer said he was fine. And also the way he moved around, he was fine."

The Phillies holed up in their hotel Saturday with only a few players, including Happ, heading to the ballpark for some work.

"I didn't throw off the mound. I just went over there to get some work in and then to just play some catch a little bit, just kind of trying to stay on the normal routine I would a day before I start," Happ said.

Manuel said Martinez could serve the Phillies well as a reliever.

"I think he's very capable," Manuel said. "I think he could do that. I've seen him do it before. And I think he could definitely give us a couple of innings. Definitely, we wouldn't be afraid to use him. ... . to match up with the lineup. I think that definitely could happen.

"When I talked to Pedro, he totally understood. He was very professional about it. Of course, he wants to pitch. He's just like everybody else. He came here to pitch and he did a good job for us."

Manuel echoed the sentiments of Rockies manager Jim Tracy when asked about Saturday's postponement.

"It was snowing, and somebody told me it was 17 degrees," Manuel said. "And I thought to myself, well, how much can it warm up today? And the smart guy that I am, I said, well, it's probably going to get to 20. So I figured it might be a little bit too cold to play baseball. So, I think they made the right decision."

Information from ESPN.com's Jayson Stark and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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