April 19, 1992 |
When the Oakland Athletics stumbled to a fourth-place finish in the American League West last year, it was easy to pass around the blame. There was the fall of Dave Stewart (5.18 ERA) and the Kingman-type numbers produced by Mark McGwire (.201, 22 HRs, 116 strikeouts). There were injuries that sidelined third baseman Carney Lansford and shortstop Walt Weiss for most of the season. And then there was that bullpen. The A's went from having one of the league's best in 1990 (3.25 ERA)
April 16, 2010 |
Faced with carrying a makeshift bullpen into the 2010 season, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel didn't exactly issue the strongest vote of confidence in his pitching staff. "If we play like we can, we're going to score runs," Manuel said during the final day of spring training in Clearwater. He is right about that. Early in this season, the Phillies' offense has scored enough to hide the fact that Roy Halladay is the only starter who has pitched beyond six innings. The rest of the rotation has been bailed out by that unheralded bullpen.
October 2, 2006 |
Randy Johnson was optimistic after a bullpen session yesterday that he would be ready to start Game 3 of the playoffs for the New York Yankees on Friday. Johnson threw 41 pitches under the watchful eye of manager Joe Torre, pitching coach Ron Guidry and bullpen coach Joe Kerrigan. Torre was was confident that the Big Unit would pitch against the Detroit Tigers. Chien-Ming Wang will start tomorrow's opener and Mike Mussina will follow in Game 2 on Wednesday. Johnson was 17-10 with a 5.00 ERA in 33 starts.
March 31, 2009 |
The National League's best bullpen from 2008 will have to deal with a big challenge for the first two months of the new season. J.C. Romero, who helped the Phillies record a league-best 3.22 bullpen ERA last season, must serve a 50-game suspension after testing positive for a banned substance last summer. The lefthander maintains his innocence because no banned substances were listed on the ingredient label of 6-OXO Extreme, an over-the-counter supplement he bought in South Jersey.
November 5, 2009 |
NEW YORK - Huddled up inside the enclosed Ritz-Carlton of bullpens in leftfield at Yankee Stadium, the Phillies' relievers would have stayed there all night - protected from the cold, harsh, pressure-cooker environment - if they could. Given their struggles this season and this World Series, the quiet bullpen was a sort-of shielding bubble. In Game 6 - with the season on the line for the second game in a row - that bubble popped early. Like a window that bursts inside a pressurized cabin, when J.A. Happ opened the door to the outside world at Yankee Stadium to warm up in just the third inning, the gaping hole sucked everyone out with him. In all, the Phillies used five relief pitchers to try to stop the fatal hemorrhage that started as a trickle with starter Pedro Martinez.
February 16, 2012 |
WHAT WE KNOW: Charlie Manuel and Rich Dubee will have plenty more options than they did for most of last season, when young relievers Antonio Bastardo and Michael Stutes were forced into the fire after injuries struck Jose Contreras, Brad Lidge and, for a stretch, Ryan Madson. The ninth inning wasn't a problem last year, and it shouldn't be one this year with Jonathan Papelbon replacing Madson. The 31-year-old former Red Sox closer relies primarily on a wicked fastball, occasionally offset by a splitter.
April 19, 2004 |
It appears the Phillies have developed a home-field advantage already at Citizens Bank Park. It's the visitor's bullpen in center field. "I think the way they designed this, they crossed the line a little bit," Expos manager Frank Robinson said yesterday. "All you're asking for is trouble. I hope it doesn't happen, but it won't get to the postseason before something happens. " Opponents have the upper level of the two-tier bullpen, which is located just below Ashburn Alley, the outfield entertainment area.
April 19, 1989 |
The skids were greased. The Phillies had lost three consecutive games, mostly because the starting pitching, sadly, was rounding into the form so many had expected. Bruce Ruffin threw batting practice for two games and was sent to Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre. That meant veteran Larry McWilliams, signed as a free agent primarily as a lefthander out of the bullpen, would be thrust into starting against a Mets team that was showing signs of waking up. Another setback would turn a couple of losses into a full-fledged Losing Streak, and all bets were off after that.
February 23, 2004 |
The Phillies hope to have a nice, quiet camp over the next several weeks. The less that happens, the better. At this point there are just a few uncertainties if everybody stays healthy. Those include two job openings in the bullpen. "Everybody in camp is in the mix at this point," Phillies general manager Ed Wade said yesterday. "We'll bring the best 25 north. If those bullpen jobs come down to two spots, those roles are very important. Where we are in the scheme of things right now, the prevailing factor has to be putting the best club out on the field.
July 28, 2003 |
It looks like trouble, but Phillies pitching coach Joe Kerrigan says his bullpen is fine. Busy, but fine. The Phillies' starters have pitched five or fewer innings five times in the last seven games, creating plenty of work for the bullpen. Too much, in fact. In yesterday's 7-6 loss to Florida at Pro Player Stadium, the bullpen pitched 5 1/3 innings after ace Kevin Millwood lasted just 3 1/3. "It doesn't matter what team it is," manager Larry Bowa said. "You don't pitch five innings, you show some wear and tear in the bullpen.