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Phillies want to clinch NLDS in three

Phillies want to clinch NLDS in three

MILWAUKEE -- The Phillies' preference, of course, is to win Saturday's Game 3 against the Brewers, then await the outcome of the Cubs-Dodgers National League Division Series.

But playing Game 4 on Sunday isn't the be all and end all.

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"The importance is winning the series," shortstop Jimmy Rollins said. "Bottom line, you have to win three games. It would be nice to get it done today, no doubt. You get a couple more days' rest and you don't have to worry about tomorrow, who we're facing and what's on the line."
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"We want to get to the LCS, and we have a chance to do that today, so our goal is definitely go out there and get it done today."

The Phillies liked their chances in Game 3 with lefty Jamie Moyer, the man who pitched in Philadelphia's 2007 and '08 National League East-clinching games, and is immune to the pressure associated with pitching in big games.

Phils manager Charlie Manuel remembers Oct. 11, 2001, when Moyer beat the Indians in Game 2 of the American League Division Series, while Moyer pitched for the Mariners.

With a win, Moyer, 45, would become the oldest pitcher to nail down the clinching game of a postseason series and the oldest to win a postseason game period.

The lefty led the first-place Phillies with 16 wins and set the modern record for a non-knuckleballer. Phil Niekro, who won 16 for the '85 Yankees at 46, was older when he won his 16th game.

If Philadelphia finishes off Milwaukee in Game 3, it won't need to turn to Joe Blanton, the likely starter in Game 4, meaning the right-hander wouldn't be need again until Game 4 of the NL Championship Series.

"The competitor in you wants to pitch," Blanton said. "But if I don't, that's fine, too."

Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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