Despite the fine comeback win Sunday, playing the Red Sox exposed the Phillies great weaknesses: Lack of bench help, injuries in the bullpen, an insufficient starting rotation.
The third aspect is the most pressing for the Phils’ goals in 2009. Watching the patient Red Sox work against, then tee off on Antonio Bastardo flashed the distress signal; then, watching the Sox do the same thing against JA Happ put us into panic mode. Bastardo and Happ may work against San Diego and even the free-swinging Dodgers, but in big October baseball, it won’t fly.
We do know, however, that Happ is more an asset in the rotation and should continue his run at the back of the rotation. But as we figured, it wouldn’t be a great idea to keep Bastardo, and Happ, and Jamie Moyer, and Joe Blanton back there together. That’s too much of one kind of pitcher (a guy who relies on hitters to make the outs for them — though Blanton has shown to be a bit more than that).
Yes, it’s second starter time. The Phillies will have to make a move, and it will probably be coming down within the next few weeks. I’ll dive into the second-starter business tomorrow; for now, come up with your own ideas as to who should next don pinstripes.