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The Philadelphia Phillies Constructed Their Roster for Length Against Cardinals

Rob Thomson included Kyle Gibson and Noah Syndergaard on the postseason roster ahead of Nick Nelson and others.
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The Philadelphia Phillies released their postseason roster just hours before the first game of their Wild Card series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday at 2:07 p.m. EDT.

In an interesting maneuver, steady long reliever Nick Nelson was left off the roster in lieu of Kyle Gibson and Noah Syndergaard. Gibson had an ERA of 9.73 in September. He had lost command and velocity as the season progressed.

Nevertheless, he was added to the postseason roster for length. The postseason no longer includes the runner on second rule for extra innings, so games could go much longer.

Nelson hasn't pitched as many as three innings since the first half, whereas Gibson and Syndergaard are, obviously, both starters.

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"We wanted to make sure that we were covered on length just because it's not the runner at second base in extra innings type of thing," Thomson said. "It's a regular game now. And it could happen today, and it could happen tomorrow. So, we gotta have a couple of those guys that can at least give us some length."

Darick Hall also could have made the roster ahead of either Syndergaard or Gibson, but clearly, the Phillies feel that a surplus of pitchers is more important than a surplus of bats.

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