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So, what are the Phillies going to do against the Braves this weekend?

I love it when people try to make me feel better. Here’s a tweet, sent in my direction from a chap named @Evolution33:

Karma dictates that if the Phillies rest and let the Braves into the playoffs they will pay with a NLCS loss to the Braves.

I don’t believe in magic, I-ching, Buddha, mantra, Gita, yoga, kings, Elvis, Zimmerman, Beatles, Yoko or me, but I’d like to think that there is some force in the universe that will make that happen.

Supernatural stuff aside, Charlie Manuel does have some interesting decisions on his plate as the Phillies face the Braves this weekend. The Phillies have nothing to play for, really. They have the home field advantage. They really just need to stay healthy and make sure their pitchers are rested/sharp for the playoffs. That rested/sharp balance is where the interestingness comes in.

Kyle Kendrick gets the start tonight because it’s his turn. Manuel has also said that Cole Hamels will get some work this weekend, though maybe not a regular, full-blown start. The speculation is that will be Saturday, with Sunday being a festival of relief pitchers.

My nightmare is that Oswalt and/or Halladay come to Charlie and say that they really need 40 pitches or something in order to be sharp for the NLDS, Charlie says OK, and Saturday and Sunday have the Braves facing all three of the Phillies’ big starters in two games. The chances of this are very small, of course -- Halladay will almost certainly take the weekend off -- but these are the sorts of things that cause me to pour doubles when a single is all I really need.

Ah, it doesn’t matter I guess. The Padres are gonna lose at least two games to the Giants this weekend and render it all academic. Right? Anyone?

[please hold me]