A Weary Pen

madson 0616.jpgThe Phillies needed Cole Hamels to pitch deep last night at Citizens Bank Park.

Sure, they did not play Monday, but the bullpen had thrown 27 1/3 innings in the previous five games — thanks to three extra-inning games and a rain delay Saturday that knocked Antonio Bastardo out after the first inning. That is a sick amount of innings. And while some relief pitchers say they would rather pitch than sit and stiffen up, in the long term the bullpen needs a break.

But the Blue Jays made Hamels work. He threw 110 pitches in six innings, which meant the bullpen had to protect the 3-2 lead.

It couldn’t. It walked eight batters in four innings (one was intentional) in an 8-3 loss in 10 innings.

Chad Durbin walked one batter in the seventh. J.C. Romero walked the bases loaded in a scoreless eighth. Ryan Madson blew his first save since he replaced injured closer Brad Lidge. He walked two in the ninth, including walking in the tying run. Clay Condrey walked two in the 10th when the Jays scored five runs to take the lead.

The bullpen has not thrown fewer than 3 1/3 innings in a game since June 9 in New York when they threw 2 2/3 innings.

They have not thrown fewer than 2 2/3 innings since June 5 in San Diego.

That is a remarkable 43 2/3 innings in the previous nine games, or nearly five innings per game.

Tired pen?

“It’s hard to say,” Charlie Manuel said. “You walk a lot of guys that is a sign they might be a little tired. But that’s baseball. That’s no excuse. If we’re tried then we’ll get rest and come back and get ’em. That’s all. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.”


Fans can purchase the book Remembering Harry Kalas: Wonderful Stories from Friends Celebrating a Great Life exclusively through 571 Wawa locations throughout the Delaware Valley for $9.00 (retail is $24.95). Rich Wolfe is the lead author, but contributing authors include former Camden Courier-Post Phillies beat writer Mike Radano, former Courier-Post columnist Kevin Roberts and former Allentown Morning Call columnist Gordie Jones.

The book includes nearly 100 first-person stories about Kalas, including stories from Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, Pat Burrell and Larry Bowa.

I know Radano and Roberts well, and I know they were talking to a bunch of people, so there should be some good stories in there.

Wawa donated $10,000 to Phillies Charities.


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You know, it’s been two months. They could at least wait a bit longer before cashing in on his death.

Slightly worrisome that Hamels has been a bit off his game in his last two starts. I’ve never seen him throw so many wild pitches! Sorry to see Madson blow the same. I guess this might end discussion of what happens when Lidge comes off the DL. Let’s hope they take the next two and finally win a series @ home against someone other than the Nats. GO PHILS!

They aren’t merely cashing in, but also raising money for charities. I think Harry would be ok with it.
As for the game, it was a bullpen explosion that’s for sure. But let’s be honest too. 3 runs? That’s it? The starting pitcher had an ERA of over 6 and all we could come up with was 3 runs? The offense knew the bullpen was tired and should have helped them out too.

Back to yesterday’s thread and Erich. Donald, while a fan favorite, has no place to play in Phila. He is not a 3B as he sin’t even playing 3rd this year in AAA. Also, he’s having a pretty bad year. He’s a super utility/PH type who may be able to start for a weak team. We can afford to trade him.

Mayberry, on the other hand, may be a starter somewhere. Just not in Phila. He’s 3rd on our list of potential outfielders behing Taylor and Brown. Since he can’t help this year off the bench, he can best help the team by being traded for decent pitcher.

As for Kendrick, he’s a throw in. Maybe a change of scenery will help him. He derserves a bit of help from us after all he did to help us last year and the year before.

The ‘pen needs rest and it needs reinforcements. Walker ain’t it. I wonder how Mike Koplove would look right around now?
Lidge pitched from a mound yesterday without pain, so there’s that.

I’d say get rid of Walker by whatever means necessary, send Bako back down because he’s useless, and bring up two bullpen arms, Escalona for one but I wouldn’t know who else, Kendrick if necessary.

I wonder what the Nats would part with Joe Beimel for.

They should bring up Carpenter and send Bastardo to the ‘pen. He can get away with one real good pitch from the ‘pen.
I’m supposed to go tonight but it just started raining here. The weather report looks bad for a while.

I’ve always defended Charlie, even when this blog was at the Inqy. But the one thing he does that drives me nuts is he sticks with pitchers, even when they obviously don’t have good stuff, and let’s games get away. I know the pen is tired, but Madson and Condry didn’t have it and he leaves them out there anyway, especially Condrey last night. Loyalty is one thing, but jeez Charlie (or Dubee), even Stevie Wonder could see they were struggling. His “hunches” are certainly well celebrated but his insistance on sticking with pitchers that are getting slapped around is maddening. Bring in Bastardo, Walker, hell, Dallas Green if you have to, if your guy is getting pummeled. Every game counts, you gotta win the one in front of you, it’s not like we run away with the division every year, ya know?

This raises two issues:

1 – You’ve started a game with your ace, who earns a big salary and left it in the hands of a bunch of bullpen pitchers who, together aren’t as good as the guy who started the game.

2 – The persistent pitch count nonsense runs starters out of games early, depletes bullpens and generally makes it harder to win consistently. When managers stop counting pitches, bullpens will be more effective.

With a 5-man rotation and the current state of conditioning in today’s athletes, I’m amazed that 100 pitches remains some magic number for yanking a starter.
And while we’re at it, can we get Tom McCarthy to stop counting every pitch? It’s on my nerves.

f-i-j, thanks for the clarification…… As for the Phils’ pitching. I’m beginning to think that Dubee’s pitching philosophy is to have pitchers throw pitches that are just out of the strike zone on purpose, in an effort to get impatient hitters to swing at balls they can’t hit well. Lately, the Phils from top to bottom have been walking WAY too many batters. I think everyone knows the pitches will be called balls more than 50% of the time if they just take them. If that is not the case, then how else can you explain walks given up at a Little League pitching rate?

I don’t think it’s instruction from Dubee, I just think that a lot of our pen arms, Romero and Eyre especially, have come out of the gate very wild.

As far as the rotation, Moyer has never been able to have success with a tight strike zone, Myers is a head case and prone to throwing out of the zone (not that it matters now), and Happ’s location is unproven. Can’t explain Cole’s wildness though.

The thing that worries me is that, no one seems to know the cause of the wildness of the Phils’ pitchers. Maybe it’s ‘cos they’re tired. Maybe it’s ‘cos of nagging injuries that they’re trying to pitch through. Maybe it’s ‘cos they need corrective eyewear. Maybe it’s ‘cos they’re eating greasy snacks between innings, so they can’t get a good grip on the ball. Maybe Selig has told the umpires to screw the Phillies pitchers every chance they get. After Little League, there is no excuse for walking that many guys in a game, muchless an inning.

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