Phillies Notes: Charlie Manuel saving closer Jonathan Papelbon for save situations

Posted: June 11, 2012

BALTIMORE - Jonathan Papelbon threw two pitches from about 40 feet in the visitors' bullpen at Camden Yards in the top of the 10th inning, and that represented a day's work Sunday.

The Phillies lost, 5-4, to the Baltimore Orioles for their seventh walk-off loss of the season. Papelbon, the $50 million closer, has not pitched in any of those games.

Charlie Manuel has played those situations by the book. Managers typically will not use their closer in a tie game on the road, instead opting to hold him back for a save situation. That opportunity hasn't come.

"That's when I'm going to him," Manuel said. "You don't do that. You don't do that."

Papelbon did not warm up Saturday during the later innings of a game that was tied and never threw from the mound Sunday. Even when the Phillies put the potential go-ahead run on second base in the 10th inning, he did not warm up.

He said he was available to pitch and would have, had the Phillies scored there.

With a depleted bullpen full of minor-league arms and a day off Monday, Manuel said he never considered using Papelbon for two innings in a tie game.

"He wasn't coming in," Manuel said. "You don't do that. I've never done that. There's a lot of managers who have never done that, I'd imagine."

Righties improve

One day after Chad Qualls tossed two scoreless innings, Michael Schwimer kept a game tied with three spotless frames of his own. They were positive signs for the two righthanded relievers asked to assume important roles because of attrition. Both have stumbled, but remain Manuel's best righty options before Papelbon.

Schwimer relieved Cliff Lee and allowed only two baserunners in his three innings. He had been scored on in five of his nine outings in 2012 before Sunday.

Qualls' appearance was a rare feat; he has had an outing of two scoreless innings once in each of the last three seasons. He last did it May 6, 2011.

"I've felt good for the past couple of outings," Qualls said. "I gave up some runs, but they were a lot of ground balls and not a lot of hard-hit balls. I know the outcome wasn't really what I wanted, but I threw the ball better than the box score said."

When it was over Saturday, his teammates wanted to talk about one thing - his tumble on the mound after firing a pickoff throw to first base.

"[Brian] Schneider showed me the replay before I could even get in here," Qualls said. "Apparently, I took my legs out from under me. I don't know what happened. I've never done that before. It's not too embarrassing. There's only 40,000 people out there watching."

Schneider laughed. "There's actually a couple million watching on TV," he said.

Extra bases

Carlos Ruiz is cooling off; he is 4 for his last 27 and stranded eight runners Sunday. Ruiz went the last week without an extra-base hit. . . . On Saturday, B.J. Rosenberg was the first Phillies pitcher to make his major-league debut in relief and lose the game since Bob Ayrault in 1992. . . . The Phillies have used 34 different players in 2012 through 62 games. They used a total of 42 in each of 2010 and 2011.


Contact Matt Gelb

at  mgelb@phillynews.com

or follow on Twitter @magelb

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