How soon can Lee return to mound for Phillies?

Posted: October 29, 2009

NEW YORK - Cliff Lee in Game 4? On 3 days' rest?

The Phillies have given no indication that this might be where they are headed, but after a night like last night, when Lee throws a six-hit, complete game to open the World Series, you can understand why manager Charlie Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee might want to have the conversation.

Asked whether he had thought about the possibility, Lee said: "No. I was thinking about Game 1. Now I'm trying to answer questions about that. I really haven't looked forward to whatever. That's a better question for Charlie. He's the one that makes those decisions. I'm ready to pitch whenever they let me."

For their part, Manuel and Dubee offered no insights at all.

"We'll see how it goes," Manuel said. "I mean, we'll see where we're at. We've got time."

As for Dubee, he said, "We haven't talked about Game 4 yet."

Period.

One fun fact: Lee has never pitched a major league game on 3 days' rest. It kind of makes you wonder why they would even think about trying it now, why they would want to fuss with what has been Lee's near-perfection during this postseason. But Manuel is leaving himself an out here, just in case the Phillies were to lose the next two games.

"The rest of our guys are pretty darn good, too," reliever Brad Lidge said. "We're going to have to see how things play out. I don't know. He's doing it so well, whatever he's doing, I'd just let it go. But it would be tempting to use him on short rest."

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