Eighth Inning Dooms Phillies Again

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Fri, August 29, 2008 07:56 AM | Comments: 43

Yesterday I wrote about the possible need for a veteran setup man to work late innings. I had written this about the current Phillie setup:

We’ve seen that the Phils bullpen parts are clearly defined in their abilities. Romero should strictly work lefties, but can get out of big jams late in games. Durbin is best as a swing man capable of jetting through the middle innings. Condrey is a great long-innings reliever. Madson — while possessing the most setup experience of the four — seems to be better suited in the seventh inning (.208 BAA/.577 OPSA) than the eighth (.281 BAA/.708 OPSA).

Yup, Madson cannot work the eighth inning.

For the second night in a row, the Phillies blew an eighth-inning lead, losing to the Cubs 6-4. It was painful. Madson gave up a solo home run. Then a double. Then a single. Durbin came in, walked one, then gave up a game-breaking grand slam by Aramis Ramirez.

The Cubs do this stuff all the time, but that’s no excuse. The bullpen blew it, and again, it was with people not accustomed to pitching in big situations.

It ruined a great outing by Cole Hamels. He went seven, gave up a run on five hits. You could argue to keep him in the game after the seventh, but according to Charlie Manuel, Hamels was “spent.” I’d think my bullpen could finish the deed for two innings in this situation.

The Phils offense did well off Ryan Dempster. Shane Victorino hit a two-out RBI single in the first, while Carlos Ruiz, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley picked up RBI in the fifth to make it 4-1. You’re supposed to hold three-run leads.

The Phillies bullpen couldn’t. Instead, they’re now a game back of the Mets with the toughest part of the series ahead.

Associated Press photo

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About Tim Malcolm

Tim Malcolm has written 1947 articles on Phillies Nation.

  • Posts: 0 Gary B

    This is shit, Hamels was pitching great. Let him start off the inning at least and see what he can do, we need these wins. Every loss in this stretch run is magnified…fuggin Cholly…

    And I am sick of Maddy cakes serving up those damn beach balls. The offense played great, stiuational hitting, hell even Ruiz had an RBI. This loss hurts…

  • Posts: 0 Gary B

    Also, I think the Jeltz award should go to Cholly…he blew this one.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Tough loss. Madson should have come in with more game than that but lets be real here after the season we’ve been having it’s a tough loss but not as bad as some of our wins, genuine positives can be taken here.

    Matt Stairs though… Seriously? An imobile American league DH playing well in his hometown with a year left on his deal.

  • Posts: 0 PtheBLovesTheBallGirls

    Wait a second are you telling me the Phillies just picked up Matt Stairs?

  • Posts: 0 Dennis

    Hamels has to be out there to start the eighth. If you don’t have an eighth inning guy then put some faith in your ace. It’s the stretch run now we can’t worry about pitch counts anymore! This is the most frustrating Phillies season that I can ever remember, and at 2:20 today…..it continues……

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Stairs with $400k left on his contract this year and $1m next year for a player to be named. Better than Mike Lamb sure, but feels like a desperate move.

  • Posts: 0 NEPA

    There goes the split, no way we win 2 out of 3 off this team at Wrigley.

  • Posts: 0 Rick

    After last night, isn’t it apparent that Eyre is slowly working his way into the setup role? He’s been sharp since we picked him up.

    Doesn’t Madson have an aching shoulder? I would think while he’s trying to feel better, he’d be relegated to the mop-up role.

  • Posts: 0 Mike D.

    Not specific to last night, but if Madson can’t work the 8th and should only work the 7th, Romero should only work against lefties and get out of jams late and Durbin is a middle innnig reliever, who would you suggest pitches in the 8th inning of games? Condrey? Eyre? Maybe bring Larry Anderson out of the booth? With all of the complaining about Tom Gordon for the past 3-4 year he was absolutely lights out 8th inning down the stretch last year, I wish we he wasn’t hurt.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    They have one day to go find a veteran setupman, something weve been talking about FOR MONTHS since gordon first got hurt. they got scott eyre, ok fine. but you still needed someone for the 8th inning. they NEVER got that guy. now you see them lose two or three games because of it recently, which they cannot afford. the bullpen is the strength, supposedly, and you cant afford to have it cost you games.

  • Posts: 0 Greg V.

    The Phillies picked up Matt Stairs! We’re going to the World Series now!

  • Posts: 0 Fred

    Who would you rather have – Stairs or Kotsay? Kotsay would have been a much – repeat much – better pickup than Stairs but again it comes down to cash. Kotsay 2008 – $7 mil; Stairs 2008 – $1.625. Are Gillick’s hands tied financially? Or is his MO to go cheap? I think it’s a combination of both.

  • Posts: 0 Fred

    He can only pitch the 8th. He threw 20 pitches last night. He only pitches to lefthanders. He had to warmup 3 days in a row. He’s got a runny nose. Jeepers creepers! When did baseball get so scientific? Go out and do the job that you’re paid so handsomely to do. There was a time when Lefty pitched 304 innings one year. His arm didn’t fall and he still won a Cy Young. Stop babying these guys – they’re paid to pitch so go out and pitch.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    His MO is to go cheap, though he is tied financially to some extent (but i think that is GREATLY exagerrated by the team – 45 sellouts this year) i think the braves wanted more than we were willing to give up for kotsay, as usual. at least stairs has a lot of respect in the clubhouse. 11hr 44 rbi isnt bad for a 40 year old man.

    i heard a stat on the radio this morning that i need verified: 7 out of 10 times rich dubee comes to the mound, the pitcher has given up a hit, run, or homerun on the NEXT batter.

    thats probably not far off, maybe a little overplayed, but this is another reason why rich dubee has to go. hes one of the worst pitching coaches ive ever seen in baseball. brett myers got better as soon as he got away from rich dubee.

  • Posts: 0 Eb

    Well I think it is safe to say Cole wants out. He left yesterday without talking to reporters, and my opinion is not soley based on that happening. He contuinues to dominat eand the offense/bullpen cant do anything. He should have 16 wins this year.

    I cant say I blame him though

  • Posts: 0 Paul

    I would have liked to have Eyre get in there to try to take it to his former team, especially sweet Lou.

  • Posts: 0 Jim D.

    With the exception of Davey Lopes this is the worst coaching staff ever assembled

  • Posts: 0 PhillyGirlinMichigan

    Seems Madson was really out of it last night. Maybe he shouldn’t have shaved his head (dam that was ugly but aparently not enough to repel the Cubs).

    Durbin – Wasn’t that just his 3rd HR of the year? Tough timing but he had to warm up super fast..probably not something he’s used to. He has no margin for error anymore. Guess you just can’t change someone’s role overnight…starter to longman to setup, etc… no matter how hard they try or if their stuff is pretty good. I hope this hasn’t hurt his confidence as he’s very needed.

    I don’t see Eyre as a set-up guy either; however, he’s the best-rested reliever we have right now as he’s been on the DL, etc

  • Posts: 0 Ben

    I agree with Jim. Just a clueless bunch looking to get lucky every night they make a move. I wonder why Charlie thought Madson should go last night instead of anyone else? Probably just flipped a coin. What I really don’t get is that once Madson gave up that leadoff home run he should have been out of there. It’s not like Madson earned any right to keep pitching in that inning or in any 8th inning for that matter. Once again Manual looking to get lucky. What else did you expect from the top of the lineup after giving up that shot?

  • Posts: 0 Phil

    This is the 3rd game Durbin has blown for us this month. I was so impressed that our offense got 4 runs off of Dempster who has been nothing short of outstanding in Wrigley this year. They should have gotten a set up man. There is no excuses for not doing so.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    good teams dont do setupman by committee. they have defined roles for their bullpen arms AND people to fill those roles AT ALL TIMES. very rarely do you see the top teams have to worry about doing setupman or closer by committee. i like chad durbin but you cant do that to him. thats not his role this season. thats not romeros role, thats not madsons role. Gillick: you have TWO DAYS to get a setupman. if can be a cheap waiver-wire rental even, just go get a veteran and slot him in there to help these guys out. or else…asleep at the wheel

  • Posts: 0 Phil

    I think Eyre should move into set-up role.

  • Posts: 0 Richie Allen

    I agree w FRED …vs the mets we cant bring in anyone to pitch to Delgado because everyone is too tired, must rest their arms, (yet Charlie brings in Lidge 2 batters later).Romero has thrown 20 pitches 3 days in a row(cant even think of him).Even in a pennant race.

    Last night Charlie said Hamels was “spent”…after checking with Dubee?
    Cant he go one more inning ?

    I think Charlie has done a good job this year up until the last 2 games.

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    I hear ya Phil, but I don’t know what relievers were there to get. Jon Rauch has been bad for Arizona, Luis Ayala blows, Damaso Marte has been disappointing for the Yankees so far…

    The guy that I’m mad they didn’t get was Rich Harden. The Cubs didn’t give up much at all for him and he’s been DOMINANT. Harden > Blanton

  • Posts: 0 bull

    Dubee, Milt and Cholly all need to go!!! Whether they turn this around and make the playoffs or not. On a good note they performed a lot better against a quality pitcher but still left a lot of chances out there to have put the game out of reach. Who cares if they are RH or LH, you are a major league pitcher you should be able to get 3 people out!!!

  • Posts: 0 Matt Kwasiborski

    Absolutely horrendous last night. That was a game we needed to win. It was the whole reason Hamels was held out of pitching against the Mets so we could gain momentum in this series. Let Hamels pitch if he feel like he can. I know he has an injury history but this is what he wants. And if he makes it through the year healthy, we better reward him, or he will want out.

    Hitters did a good job last night but again, a little sense of urgency needs to happen. They left men left on base again where they should have gotten at least six runs against Dempster.

    Manuel seems to managing not to lose games this week. Put Lidge in for a 4 out save or put in Romerol and last night let Hamels pitch longer. Manuel is not managing to win like he did last year. I won’t even go into using Madson again in crucial situations. I mean, he did OK earlier this week but give Durbin a shot at setting up. Romero, Eyre and Durbin should be enough to offset the loss of Gordon. Alot of people blasted Gordon but dear Lord, he was huge for us last year down the stretch.

    I like the Stairs addition and who cares about Kotsay. Kotsay has playoff experience and Stairs is good for the clubhouse but neither are a huge addition.

    Phils need to blast Harden and Zambrano around a bit!

  • Posts: 0 Phil

    So on a positive note here, did anyone watch the Obama speech?

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    yeah i watched it. same old rehashed stuff. promise everyone everything, but encourage them not to do it themselves and wait for the government to do everything for them. mccain will be the same next week, except more obvious. they need to rehash that whole process, it stinks to high heaven.

    trade jimmy rollins, trade ryan howard, get rid of rich dubee. trade this, release that.

  • Posts: 0 Fred

    If they really wanted the game and Hammel’s was too ‘spent’ the bring in Lidge. Oh, that’s right, he’s only for 9th inning save situations. I’m so sick of these excuses why these can’t pitch or are unavailable. Heck they’ll be plenty of time to rest if they miss the playoffs.

  • Posts: 0 Phil

    I have a feeling the fish are going to sweep the Mets this weekend to get back into the race.

  • Posts: 0 PhilPhan

    perhaps the spot Tim wrote on not missing Gordon should be rethought. This 8th inning has been a problem since he’s been gone.

    Granted it was never pretty when Flash was in, and i watched with one eye open, but he usually got it done.

  • Posts: 0 Phil

    It’s just inexcusable to not be able to protect a 3 run lead. They have given up 9 runs in the past 2 nights in the 8th inning.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    tahts disgraceful. only bad teams do stuff like that. rich dubee has to go.

  • Posts: 0 Fred

    Maybe we should just use 9 pitches every game? One for each inning. We could have our first inning specialist, but of course he couldn’t be used in the second inning because he isn’t effective outside of the first.

    Give me a break, please!

  • Posts: 0 Richie Allen

    Yesterday everyone prettymuch said that the loss to the mets was ok..acceptable because we had a tough series coming up etc…and we won the game of the year.
    I dont sense the same attitute after last night though..
    Look ,again ,its just my opinion, but we have to win “any game we can” from now on in,without regard to rest..
    I know we cant win every game..but we cant give them away either.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    another game that rich dukee has lost them

  • Posts: 0 Richie Allen

    Geoff maybe we can send Dubee & JRoll in a trade…with cash

  • Posts: 0 Dale

    Just a couple of thoughts on this game, Hamels should have been left in, Eyre wasn’t brought in because the Cubs have no left hand hitters on the bench and this entire season is coming down to the deals the team did make and did not make because players didn’t fit the budget! you trade 3 prospects for Blanton, Eyre for anothe minor leaguer, Stairs for a player to be named later, you could of had Aubrey Huff from the Orioles but they are unwilling to pay the $9 million left on his contract for next year but the bonus to him is he plays 4 or 5 positions! Then of course, for some of us in the Lehigh Valley, they bring up Andy Tracy when Jenkins gets hurt, he gets 2 at bats and they desinate him for assignment, taking him away before the last homestand for the IronPigs. Some thanks to a guy who ressurected a pitiful team that started the season into a some what respectable bunch, due in part to his hard work along with that of Mike Cervenak. I love the Phillies and have all my life, but this team has made some serious blunders this season and the main one was not signing Aaron Rowand, he was the heart of this team, no one has any passion this year at all! Gee Charlie, wasn’t that Gavin Floyd who won his 14th game the other day? We could of had a home grown rotation, Hamels, Myers, Floyd, Kendrick and the Moyer at the back end. Happ will probably be the next one to be traded since they are already screwing with his head, he’s a starter not a relief pitcher! Enough said for now, we all should be happier thay are 7 out of the last ten, but the losses to the Mets and Cubbies really suck!

  • Posts: 0 John Cena

    Hey guys lets talk werstling im hurt but I will be back …. YOU CANT SEE ME!!!

  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    Jeez, I’m with Fred, since when has pitching become so complicated? I understand the leftie/rightie thing, starters and closers, but all those other guys? Why can’t any given man in the bullpen other than closer pitch any inning he’s asked to? What’s the difference if you come in in the 6th, 7th, or 8th? Just do your job and get people out!

    I question the Phils advance scouting system, they must be incompetent or lazy. Wheels mentioned when Howard hit that ball to left field towards the line that the cubs were playing him to do that and caught it easily, that they must have done some serious scouting to know his tendencies.

  • Posts: 0 Richie Allen

    Remember everybody..today we play at 2pm,so….if we need to use someone from the pen..
    It must be an afternoon specialist..
    Wait,we bettter get one fast ,I dont think we have one on our roster.

  • Posts: 0 PhillyGirlinMichigan

    Am I anti-American to dislike the Cubs??? I always have – even more than the Mets. Cuddly underdogs, eh??? Annoying perrinial losers is more like it. Go White Sox!

    Plus – I agree that there’s not much difference when pitching the 6th, 8th, etc…I would think where you’re pitching to in the line-up (heart, end, etc.) makes more of a difference.

  • Posts: 0 J-Man

    Charlies got to go i like him and all but he just makes too many dumb decisions…You have to at least give Hamels a try in the 8th inning and if he starts to stuggle than go to the bullpen…Charlie is just manager of a good team and is whats holding us back from being better,kind of like Grady Little with the Red Sox.

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