June 19, 2012 |
THE WASHINGTON Nationals designated struggling reliever Brad Lidge for assignment Sunday and activated reliever Ryan Mattheus. Lidge signed a $1 million, 1-year contract as a free agent in the offseason to add bullpen depth, but the 35-year-old righthander couldn't find the form that made him a two-time All-Star with Houston and the Phillies. He went 0-1 with two saves and a 9.64 ERA in 11 appearances with the Nationals. Lidge allowed three runs in Washington's 7-2 loss to the Yankees on Friday and was the losing pitcher against New York on Saturday, giving up two runs in the 14th inning of a 5-3 defeat.
June 18, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS — When Rich Dubee looks at his bullpen, he focuses on the potential. "I like all four of those kids," the Phillies pitching coach said, referring to 26-year-olds Antonio Bastardo, B.J. Rosenberg and Joe Savery and 25-year-old Jake Diekman. Not that he has a choice. The Phillies have long relied on veterans to fill most holes in their bullpen. Heading into 2008, it was such players as Brad Lidge, J.C. Romero, Chad Durbin, Tom Gordon and Rudy Seanez who joined homegrown setup man Ryan Madson in the bullpen.
June 12, 2012 |
BALTIMORE — In the corner of an emptying clubhouse, Jonathan Papelbon sat in a metal folding chair and hastily stuffed his belongings into a red duffel bag. That it was his most significant workload of the afternoon should not come as a surprise. True, the Phillies' bullpen inherited a tie game in the seventh inning. True, that bullpen was operating with one of its setup men unavailable and the other on a short leash. True, that bullpen already had recorded nine outs and was facing the heart of the Orioles' order in the bottom of the 10th.
June 10, 2012 |
BALTIMORE - Freddy Galvis' surprising rookie season could be in peril after a battery of tests revealed a possible fracture of his back. The Phillies will not know the severity of the injury until Galvis seeks a second opinion sometime next week, but assistant general manager Scott Proefrock spoke in grave tones after Friday's 9-6 victory over the Orioles. "It's serious," Proefrock said. "It could keep him out for a considerable amount of time. " The specific injury was described as a pars fracture, which occurs in the lower part of the back.
May 25, 2012
ST. LOUIS - Seems only 2 weeks ago we were writing the obituary for this Phillies bullpen. Actually, it was only 2 weeks ago. But things have changed, good things, as a matter of fact, as Thursday night's 10-9 victory over the Cardinals continued to bear out. It was May 9 when Ruben Amaro Jr. decided to make a line change and call up lefties Jake Diekman and Raul Valdes from Triple A Lehigh Valley after watching his bullpen's latest...
May 16, 2012 |
Without fail, Juan Pierre is the first Phillies player in the dugout before a game. He walked up the tunnel at 3:23 p.m. Monday and saw a tarp covering the rain-soaked infield at Citizens Bank Park. But it was dry enough to do his 10 minutes of sprinting in right field. "It's just something I've always done," Pierre said. "No rhyme or reason. " He could say the same thing about going unsigned until Jan. 27. Once every team in baseball had passed on offering a guaranteed major-league contract, Pierre said he did not wonder about his ability.
May 16, 2012 |
IT TURNED OUT to be a good bullpen night: Antonio Bastardo got two strikeouts in the eighth inning and Chad Qualls followed him and got the third out, surviving a line drive that was caught by Hunter Pence in rightfield. Then Jonathan Papelbon — warming up in a save situation — still pitched the ninth after Placido Polanco's home run turned it into a non-save situation. But it was one night. And, well, put it this way: if the Phillies expect to do any damage in October, they will need to acquire a power bat and fix their bullpen.
May 11, 2012
THE EXODUS began while the ball was still in flight, thousands of fans rising from their seats to see where the home run would land, then turning toward the exits without a moment of hesitation. By the time Ike Davis rounded third, Citizens Bank Park looked like a scene from the "Walking Dead," horrified city-dwellers and suburbanites choking the stairways in search of the fastest route home. There did not appear to be any zombies on the premises, although given the state of the Phillies bullpen, we cannot be sure.
May 11, 2012 |
The return of Cliff Lee from the disabled list was more than a sliver of light in these darkest of days for the Phillies. It was more than a silver lining, too. Watching this offensively inconsistent team that is short on sluggers, rail thin in the bullpen and challenged defensively, it's easy to forget that the Phillies' starting rotation is still the gold standard in the National League. You might not want to hear that after another monumental bullpen collapse allowed the New York Mets to complete a three-game sweep Wednesday night with a 10-6 victory at an increasingly hostile Citizens Bank Park.
May 10, 2012 |
THE PITCHING change came one batter too late, not because the manager spent the night huffing paint, but because his best option was in Indianapolis with his socks pulled high in a Triple A bullpen. Nobody knows if Jake Diekman would have made a difference in the Phillies' latest late-game meltdown, but the 25-year-old lefty at least has the potential, which is more than you can say about the majority of Charlie Manuel's options right now. "That'll come up sooner or later," Manuel said Tuesday night after the Phillies blew a three-run lead with two out in the seventh inning in what ended as a 7-4 loss to the Mets.