Having played one game in the last four days, the Phillies had an impromptu break not unlike the All-Star break before beginning a seven-game road trip in Cincinnati on Monday. Following a scheduled day off Thursday, the Phils had games on Saturday and Sunday postponed due to Hurricane Irene's arrival.
But the Phillies have dealt with an off-kilter schedule for the better half of August. After staying out of the eye of the storm for the second day in a row Sunday, the Phils had played just nine games in the last 15 days and a third of those games involved lengthy rain delays. They also had five days with no baseball at all: three rain-outs and two scheduled days off.
The late summer weather has thrown the rotation into flux: When Roy Halladay pitches Tuesday and Cliff Lee follows Wednesday, both will be starting on eight days of rest.
"It's just pretty hard to get guys slotted in on their fifth day, but we have got to deal with it," pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "We're not the only people dealing with it, so you just have to move and deal with it the best way you can."
"Obviously I'd like to know when I was going to pitch," Lee said. "But you can't control the weather. It's totally out of our hands. You've just got to adjust your routine and try to make it work. There's no perfect solution. You're just backing stuff up."
As a result of three games rained out in the last two weeks, the Phils will not only lose their only remaining day off, but they'll also play a pair of doubleheaders six days apart. This weekend's back-to-back postponements will be made up as a double-header with the Marlins on September 15.
The Phils will close out the regular season playing 33 games in 31 days; they're next day off is September 29, the day after the final game of the regular season.
"Off days, especially when you play 15 or 20 in a row, off days are good," manager Charlie Manuel said. "But at the same time ... when you have to do something, you have to do it."