Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins was batting leadoff for Game 6 of the NL championship series Saturday night after losing his regular spot in the postseason. Manager Charlie Manuel moved Shane Victorino, who had been hitting first, to the sixth spot.
When Rollins, the 2007 NL MVP, is on his game, the Phillies are hard to stop. But he batted just .243 in 88 games and was on the disabled list twice this season with a strained right calf. He also missed time late in the year with a strained right hamstring.
Rollins stole two bases in Game 5 against the Giants, a sign that perhaps he was feeling close to his old self.
"I've always looked at him as our leadoff hitter, and he is the guy," Manuel said. "He's very knowledgeable in how to run the bases and steal and stuff."
Manuel said Victorino was fine with the lineup drop. Rollins only led off Game 1 of the NL division series
Manuel said Rollins has some of his swagger back, a style that has traditionally added to his shortstop's success. With the Phillies needing to win Saturday to keep their season alive, Manuel wanted the lineup he's most comfortable with.
"I felt like that's the best way for us to go," Manuel said. "I've always felt that way ever since the start of the season."
Giants manager Bruce Bochy shuffled his lineup for Game 6, starting Juan Uribe over Pablo Sandoval at third base. Edger Renteria gets the start at shortstop. Uribe will hit seventh and Renteria eighth.
Sandoval is batting only .214 (3 for 14) in the postseason and 2 for 9 lifetime against Phillies starter Roy Oswalt. Renteria was 9 for 37 with two homers and Uribe 7 for 19 (.368) vs. Oswalt entering Saturday night.
"I think it makes us a little stronger on the left side of the infield," Bochy said. "Edgar has faced Oswalt quite a bit, too, and he's been swinging the bat better I think."