Keep The Change: There’s A Flood At The Bank

Posted by Nick "Beerman" Staskin, Fri, June 19, 2009 12:00 PM | Comments: 15
Keep The Change, Posts

This is “Keep the Change,” a Friday feature by Nick “The Beer Man” Staskin. Nick is a beer man at Citizens Bank Park; he’ll post weekly with observations from the fans at the park, trying to get a good sense of where the Phillies stand in the eyes of those who most matter.


This week seems to have brought new meaning to the phrase, “when it rains it pours.”

I am taking a break from building my arc, with two of every beer to reach out to the fans.

Caught in the midst of their annual interleague swoon (last year the Phillies went 4-11 against the American League), the Phils were hit with some more bad news. They were forced to put first-half MVP, Raul Ibanez, on the disabled list with groin issues.

Despite the 1-5 stretch to start the home stand, the lead atop the National League East is still three games (thanks, Mets). I’m not too worried about the Ibanez injury: While his numbers will be missed, it is best to get these things out of the way early.

This week’s column will mirror those in the past though … some things that are definitely pressing the minds of the fans in the crowds.

The rotation, rotation, rotation…

I’m not writing off Antonio Bastardo yet; it might not have been his night. The Red Sox can hit. Who knows what would have happened had the sky opened up with what seems to be nonstop rain? But what if tonight doesn’t go well? Then it’s back to the drawing board with the rookie.

J. A. Happ has been serviceable and is allowed a stinker, so I will let that one slide.

However, the inconsistencies of Jamie Moyer and Joe Blanton still have the fans scratching their heads. Which Blanton is going to show up? The guy who pitched seven strong innings against the Red Sox last Friday? Or the guy who got poked around for the better part of Thursday afternoon?

If the Phillies are serious about making a deal for a big arm, there is no time like the present. Just because the trade deadline is at the end of July, it doesn’t mean you have to wait that long to pull the trigger. But with the recent DL stints of Jake Peavy and Erik Bedard and the “untouchable, but we’ll listen” Roy Halladay, well I simply don’t know where that help is coming from.

The pen

I’m not down on Ryan Madson. Unfortunately, he is the only one I’m not down on. While a home run against — ugh it stings to even say it … Rod Barajas — is a horrible way to lose a game (especially when you add in Tuesday’s blown save) Madson is the only arm out of the bullpen I trust right now.

Clay Condrey has come crashing back to Earth, allowing 17 base runners and eight earned runs in his last 6.1 innings pitched.

J.C. Romero can’t seem to find the plate, walking 10 men in his nine appearances this season.

I’ve never been a big Chad Durbin guy, and then you can factor in the revolving door of minor-leaguers who have been called up to eat innings the past two weeks, along with Chan Ho Park and Jack Taschner.

It’s easy to say that this year’s bullpen is not fairing as well as the Romero-Madson-Lidge trio that was so huge for the Phillies en route to the World Series last year.

I-95 Series

It is not time to panic though, far from it. This is still a first-place team. Don’t write off the Orioles, though. This is a team with some bats. Luckily, they don’t have much in the arms department.

They are a team the Phillies should be able to beat. I’m expecting to see a lot of crooked numbers on the scoreboard this weekend. Bastardo might have another rough go of it, and hopefully he can mix in some more off-speed pitches and breaking balls to fool the O’s batters on Friday night.

However, I am predicting a series win at The Bank — the Phillies first against a team other than the Washington Nationals.

Avatar of Kieran-Carobine

About Nick "Beerman" Staskin

Nick Staskin has written 36 articles on Phillies Nation.

  • Posts: 0 Dave M

    nice, Nick Staskin. he’s buds with my buddy Birthwright.

  • Posts: 0 gm-carson

    God I hope you’re right Beerman, the Phils desperately need a series win at the Brick Cit House.

  • Posts: 0 T

    good stuff nick!

  • Posts: 0 pb

    My question is why is Paul Bako on the roster instead of Sergio Escalona? I don’t get it at all, our bullpen is so being taxed so much and Escalona has performed. He got ruffed up a bit by the Red Sox but that is because Charlie tried to get another inning out of him…other than that he’s been fine. The only thing I can think of is that they really don’t like Coste as a player…. There have been constant rumors about him for the past 2 season maybe they want Bako around the pitchers for a little bit before he takes over as the backup.

    Bako signed a minor league deal so does he have to clear waviers to get sent down? Cairo signed a minor league deal and had to clear wavers.

    Either way Escolona should be on this team now over Bako or Taschner

    If Bastardo gets beat up tonight move him to the pen and call up Carrasco…. Brad Penny is sounding better and better to me which each day that passes on this homestand

  • Posts: 0 Alex B.

    I’m an O’s fan first and Phillies fan second living in Philly, and I’ll be going to the games tonight and tomorrow. Dunno how familiar most people here are with the Orioles’ pitchers, but to give you all an idea of what to expect:

    Friday: Rich Hill, whom you guys might know from when he was with the Cubs. The lefty’s main asset is an extremely nasty curveball. If he’s on, which basically means having good command of his fastball and curve, you guys might have some real trouble with him, especially if Bastardo struggles again. If he’s off, expect a lot of walks and to see the bullpen by the fifth. He’s been very shaky in his last two starts, going 4.2 IP total, so I’d probably guess that the Phils will win this one unless Bastardo gets lit up.

    Saturday: Brad Bergesen, a rookie the Orioles called up in April. He had a few mediocre starts in May, but has been phenomenal in June, pitching 24 innings in three starts and giving up only four runs total. He’s basically a sinkerballer, and he has a good slider and a couple of other pitches to keep hitters off-balance. His stuff isn’t overpowering, but he has great control and poise. I think the O’s will probably take this game, though it could turn into a pitcher’s duel if Happ does well.

    Sunday: Hoo boy. Jeremy Guthrie vs. Cole? This may turn into a blowout for the Phils. “Guts” has struggled this year, and his weakness has been the long ball; last I heard he was leading the American League with 16 homers surrendered. Against the Phillies of all teams, that does not sound good. Guthrie’s stuff has been all over the place this year, but he can throw mid-90s and keep hitters off-balance with his other pitches if he doesn’t hang his slider. If he can limit the damage to solo shots, which is entirely possible, he can keep the Orioles in the game, but against Cole, that may not be enough. Of course, Cole has had his own struggles lately.

    Bullpen: The bullpen’s been surprisingly solid this year, with two exceptions. One is the utter absence of a decent lefty specialist, which could be especially bad against the Phils. The other is Mark Hendrickson; if he goes in, it’s probably because the O’s are down 3+ runs and have given up.

  • Posts: 0 JeffS

    Great info, Alex. Especially glad to know something about Bergesen, since I’ve never seen him play.

  • Posts: 0 Mark B

    Thanks, Alex, for the excellent info. And thanks also for taking 2 of 3 from the Mets.

  • Posts: 0 Chase

    I predict we take 2 out of three from the Orioles. The sinkerballer will probably shut us down.

  • Posts: 0 Dan

    Nice info, Alex. The only concern I have is the Phillies did pretty poorly against the rookie they faced in game 3 vs the Jays. They left the bases loaded with only 1 run gained out of it, and only gained 4 total against him before he was lifted. I think the Phils could have done a lot better against a 1-8 +4 ERA AAA Rookie. They should have had at least 6 from him before he was lifted. Last time they faced him in SP they got what, 7 off him? The Phils aren’t beating up the pitchers they should, so right now bad pitchers vs us don’t instill me with a whole lot of confidence.

    -Phillies fan Dan (not to be confused with the Mutt troll who posts here)

  • Posts: 0 tflynn

    whos goin to the game tonight??? just got in philly from nc…twitter me @tf1ynn let me know where the party is pre and post game…

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Rollins has been looking good from the Right-side lately… Werth and Mayberry both swinging the bat well right now..

    Feliz had a great piece of hitting in the 9th yesterday to keep the game alive.. but i’d like to see him and Ruiz knock a few in tonight.. keep some pressure of Utley, Howard and all with Ibanez out.

  • Posts: 0 The Beerman

    You just don’t feel that sense of confidence like you did when the game got turned over to the ‘pen. Theres no situational lefty with Eyre out, considering Romero is being asked to go the entire inning in setup efforts.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Nick, the only arm I trust out of the bullpen now is Chan Ho Park –
    Have we been watching the same games?
    A blown save on the 16th, giving up the game winner to Barajas on the 18th –
    In his last 3 appearences;

    IP H R BB SO
    3 5 2 3 3

    That’s a vert uncharacteristic 8 men on base in only 3 innings for Ryan Madson.

    Park, on the other hand in his last 5 appearences;
    9 8 1 2 11 < Chan Ho gave up this run in his last appearence vs Toronto, the 18th.

    Regardless of all this going on, the front office needs to make a move for some pitching, now.

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