Cliff Lee: Ace Reliever

We're at the point in the playoffs when the regular rules don't apply. From Danny Knobler of CBS Sports:

Charlie: Cliff Lee available in bullpen tonight. Wow.

I'm going to make a big assumption that Charlie isn't "Charlie from Drexel Hill" who called WIP just now to see if the Phillies could trade Evan Longoria for Placido Polanco now the the Rays are out of it. It's probably Charlie Manuel.

And there's a chance that the Phillies' manager will use Cliff Lee out of the bullpen in Game 5 of the NLDS if needed. Wow, indeed.

This sort of thing isn't new, of course. Sometimes, this gambit works out just swimmingly. Sometimes it doesn't work out quite as well as planned. (Though dig that hold for Lincecum! Great job, Timmy!)

It's hard to imagine exactly what role the Phillies would use Lee in, though. Would it be in case of an Oswalt meltdown? Would it be in the even that they need a bridge from the sixth inning to the eighth? That part's still unclear.

But it's interesting. All hands on deck. The Phillies are up in the series 2-1, but they're probably right to treat every game for the rest of the series as their most important of the year.

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