October 7, 1992 |
When Danny Cox was made a part of the Phillies bullpen early this season, he was upset. So upset that he complained publicly and earned his release. Yet there he was, before last night's opener of the National League Championship Series, a member of the Pirates' bullpen, and as happy as could be. "Yeah," said Cox, smiling as he surveyed his bunting-draped postseason surroundings, "things worked out real well. " Obviously, life in the division-winner's bullpen is considerably more tolerable than throwing relief for the last-place Phils.
September 24, 2009 |
The Phillies arrived in Florida this week with myriad issues, and much to accomplish. In two days here, they could not escape their problems. Dealing with a decimated bullpen and an injured starting catcher, the Phils lost two of three to the Florida Marlins by falling last night, 7-6, at Land Shark Stadium. The ending was incredibly familiar: A good, if not great, night for Cole Hamels and well-timed hits by Ryan Howard were spoiled by Brad Lidge's 11th blown save of the season.
August 30, 1997 |
Terry Francona sat in the antiquated Tiger Stadium dugout, pointed at the low-slung roof. "One good thing about not being very good here is that, if you jump up to celebrate, you hit your head," said the Phillies manager, who agonized through 109 losses as the Tigers' third base coach last season. "We didn't do that very often. " If Francona jumped and bumped his head on the concrete above him last night, it was only out of frustration. Two bases-loaded walks helped the Tigers ruin his homecoming with a 7-2 win at the historic ballfield at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull.
November 30, 2000 |
Most teams haven't signed one free agent yet. The Phillies, who don't have to wait to see where Alex Rodriguez, Mike Mussina, Mike Hampton and the rest of the elite members of this year's class land, agreed to terms with their second free agent of the offseason yesterday. Lefthander Rheal Cormier, who had a 4.61 earned run average in 64 games for the Boston Red Sox, received a three-year contract worth a guaranteed $8.75 million. General manager Ed Wade was asked if this aggressive approach to free agency signaled a sense of urgency.
October 26, 2011 |
ARLINGTON, Texas - Tony La Russa has won a lot of games over a lot of years by deploying relief pitchers differently than most managers. His reputation may have worked against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 of the World Series. Well, that and baseball's reliance on the 1900s technology of wall phones in bullpens even though they're apparently easily drowned out by raucous fans. Bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist misunderstood La Russa twice with the game on the line, forcing the Cardinals into an unfavorable matchup between lefthanded reliever Mark Rzepczynski and Texas' righthanded slugger Mike Napoli with one out and the bases loaded.
October 6, 1993 |
It's hard to imagine, but Braves pitching coach Leo Mazzone said yesterday that starting John Smoltz just once in the National League Championship Series would make the Atlanta Braves a better club. "We can use John (in the bullpen) in the early part of the series," the coach said. "Then he's going to start the fourth game. And if it goes seven, guess who we can have in the bullpen?" But Smoltz is a bulldog kind of guy, not a bullpen kind of guy. He prides himself on his 35 starts this season, on pitching in pain and through injury, and of always giving his team a chance to win. Mostly, he prides himself on his 5-0 postseason record, and an ERA of 2.13 in nine playoffs and World Series starts.
June 23, 1988 |
If Kevin Gross lived in a one-story house, he would have pitched yesterday. But that's another story. This one only starts with how Gross fell down the steps on the way to the front door Monday morning, twisted an ankle, forced the Phillies to recall Mike Maddux from Maine, and set off lightbulbs in Lee Elia's head. If Maddux, who had been sent to Triple A on May 15 to rehabilitate an inflamed right elbow, pitches well enough to stay in the rotation, the Phillies might try Bruce Ruffin as a lefthanded bullpen closer.
August 4, 1989 |
If bullpens indeed win pennants, then this miracle known as the '89 Chicago Cubs could end up shocking the world. The Cubs nailed down another close victory over the Phillies last night at Veterans Stadium behind ace relievers Mitch Williams and Les Lancaster, who traded roles for a night but still combined to preserve a 2-0 win. The Phillies managed only six singles. Williams, who is second in the National League in saves, with 27, entered the game in the seventh inning, which is very early for most short relievers.
June 30, 1987 |
Everybody knows that, in the brave new world of major league baseball, a team can march only as far as its bullpen will carry it. But starting in the first inning? A loose alliance of circumstances - one doubleheader, zero off days until the All-Star break, Mike Jackson's fervent desire to pitch a few times a week rather than once every fifth (or seventh, or eighth) day - found the Phillies starting reliever Tom Hume in the second game of a doubleheader last night, the first time in a year Hume was on the mound when the last echoes of " . . . home of the brave," were still echoing around the ballyard.
March 24, 1998 |
The point in spring training has arrived when decisions must be made. That, in turn, can create opportunities for teams with holes to fill as players become available on waivers or in trades. That's one reason the Phillies are keeping their options for a second lefthander in the bullpen open after Yorkis Perez strained his right hamstring covering first base Sunday. Manager Terry Francona dropped broad hints, however, that unless general manager Ed Wade can find a better alternative from outside sources, Darrin Winston has probably moved to the top of the list.