CINCINNATI -- It has not been a memorable season for Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who spent nearly half the season on the disabled list with different leg injuries.
He hit just .243 with eight home runs and 41 RBIs in 88 games. It was the lowest average of his career and his .694 on-base-plus-slugging percentage was his lowest since a .686 OPS in 2002.
But another sore spot for Rollins are his struggles hitting left-handed. Rollins, who is a switch-hitter, has hit .297 right-handed, but just .217 left-handed. Before this season he hit .281 from the right side and .272 from the left side.
"He's had a hard time finding his swing from the left side," manager Charlie Manuel said. "Usually, his swing from the left side, he's got good balance and he has a short, quick swing. He shows signs of getting the swing down. This whole season, he has never hit a streak like where he got hot or kept his swing for a long time. And I think his injuries definitely have something to do with it."
Manuel still prefers to hit Rollins sixth and Raul Ibanez seventh because he wants to separate the left-handed-hitting Chase Utley and Ryan Howard from the left-handed-hitting Raul Ibanez with Jayson Werth and Rollins.
Interestingly, Ibanez has hit .268 against lefties this season.
"[Rollins is] dangerous and he's very capable of having a good night from the left side, too," Manuel said. "That's how I look at him. If they bring some lefties into the game, I don't worry about him hitting from the left side because if his swings are good, he'll produce."
Madson keeps things loose, dons mask in tub
CINCINNATI -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said nothing when he walked into the trainer's room recently to find Ryan Madson wearing a mask while relaxing in a hot tub.
He said little Sunday when asked about the encounter.
"I knew it was [Madson]," Manuel said before Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Great American Ball Park. "I saw Chooch [Carlos Ruiz] with it on, too."
Madson is one of the most popular players in the Phils' clubhouse because of his sense of humor. He said he recently purchased the mask, which has a striking resemblance to former Phillies infielder and current Reds infielder Miguel Cairo, while shopping at a Halloween store with his children.
"I've been wearing it every day to the playoffs, so I had to wear it again today," he said.
Madson wore the mask into the interview room before Sunday's game, which was the public's first view of it.
"Hot tub is where it debuted," Madson said. "That was cool. But the first guy that walked in was Charlie Manuel and he shook his head. But I kept with it. The guys encouraged me, and I guess my favorite place to wear it would be probably the shower."
Bullpen getting plenty of rest in playoffs
CINCINNATI -- The Phillies' relievers have pitched the fewest innings during the regular season in 2010.
That's what happens when you have Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels in the rotation.
But when they were in the game, Philadelphia's relievers were fourth in fewest runs allowed and third in fewest hits.
The success of the bullpen reminded right-hander Chad Durbin of the 2008 relief corps that helped the Phils win their first World Series title since 1980.
"Minus the extra lefty in there, Scott Eyre, I think everybody has been filling in those roles and getting outs in a regular routine or a role that you kind of get used to," Durbin said. "In the sixth, seventh, it's been the standard guys, and this guy in the eighth. For lefties coming up, J.C. [Romero] has been doing a good job lately. So, yeah, I think it helps with the momentum that gets carried on in the end of the game -- in the bullpen."
You also won't find any of the relievers complaining that they have pitched the fewest innings this season. In the postseason, they have pitched four shutout innings.
"I think it helps, because one of the things that makes our bullpen is our starting pitching," reliever Ryan Madson said. "They're going inside, mixing up pitches, and getting the hitters on their heels.
"And we were talking about this the other day: Our starting pitchers have helped us tremendously by setting the hitters up and getting them off balance, and we take advantage of it at the same time. So we're only as good as our hitters, but as a bullpen, we're only as good as our starting pitchers."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.