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