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Bullpen Blows Another to End Weird Weekend

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, August 21, 2011 06:30 PM | Comments: 51
2010 Game Recaps, Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

For the better part of this 2011 season, the Phillies have gotten through games unscathed and with relative ease. They’d blown

Chooch and Raul were celebrating. But the fun didn't last. (PHOTO:AP)

few games in the ninth inning up until this past week, so consider me, and many others I’m sure, a little shocked by what has transpired.

Sunday, after another rain delay, and just one strike from victory, the Nationals fought back to win 5-4 in 10 innings. It wasn’t quite a meltown, which Ryan Madson went through on Friday. Antonio Bastardo gave up a two out, two-strike home run to Ian Desmond to tie the game at four. In the 10th, Brad Lidge allowed two hits, a walk, and plunked Jonny Gomes with the bases loaded to send home the winning run, and leave everyone scratching their heads.

Bastardo has pretty much been flawless in ’11, so chalk this up as a blip in an otherwise ridiculous campaign for the young lefty. It’s just how it’s all happening right now that is head-scratching.

Desmond’s homer was a bit of a hanging slider that stayed far enough off the ground for him to put a good swing on. It didn’t look like the worst pitch I’ve ever seen, but it was close enough to the strike zone, and hung up enough for Desmond to crush it. With that, Michael Schwimer‘s victory vanished.

Schwimer was thisclose to picking up his first career win in his first career game, but it was not to be. After the second pitch of his major league career was smashed deep into right center field by Danny Espinosa for a solo home run, Schwimer settled in beautifully for three full frames, fanning four batters. Espinosa was the thorn in his side; the Nats second baseman would single off of Schwimer again in the eighth, the only two hits the 6-foot-8 righty would allow.

The future is bright, not only for Schwimer, but for this entire bullpen. Bastardo, Stutes, Herndon (Maybe? Hopefully?) and other youngsters waiting in the wings could make this relief unit quite formidable into the future. It’s early in Schwimer’s career, but he looks like he has pretty nasty stuff without being overpowering.

Unfortunately, two mistakes that left the yard cost the Phillies their 82nd victory of the year. It also cost them in the standings; Atlanta won, the Phillies lost, so the NL East lead is now down to 6.5  games.

Roy Halladay was his usual self before the 1 hour, 11 minute rain delay, the third in four days the Phillies were a part of. Although his outing was cut short, Halladay still finished with five strikeouts through five innings. It was more bending, but not breaking, from the Phillies top ace, as he gave up two runs on seven hits, but did not walk a batter.

It has been a few starts since Halladay has been at his best and most crisp, but in each game he’s keeping his team in it to win it, so it’s hard to complain about what we’re seeing from him.

The offense for the Phillies was provided by Carlos Ruiz, who slugged a two-run homer in the second inning off of Chien-Ming Wang, his fifth this year. Chase Utley followed suit with a solo home run in the third inning to put the Phillies ahead 3-2.

In the top of the ninth inning, the triumvirate of Raul Ibanez, Carlos Ruiz, and Michael Martinez accounted for a run, pushing the Phillies ahead 4-3. At that point, with the way this bullpen has performed all year, it seemed like a foregone conclusion the Phils would leave D.C. with another series win. Wasn’t meant to be.

Beyond the loss on the field, it was another win for Phillies Nation. Thousands of fans packed Nationals Park once again for the weekend, something that has become the norm there.

On the field, a few mistakes were all the difference. Just a few outs from it being a sweep, the Nats turned the tables, taking two of three.

ROLLINS LEAVES WITH GROIN STRAIN

Lost in the loss is the injury to Jimmy Rollins. Rollins has a groin strain and is considered day-to-day, but you can be sure the Phillies will take it slow with their shortstop, who is so vital to the success of the team down the stretch and into the playoffs.

J-Roll appeared to tweak the groin as he spun and threw out Jesus Flores in the third inning. As he turned, planted, and threw the ball to first, Rollins slipped and then favored the groin immediately. At first glance, it could be minor. We’ll know more soon.

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1701 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 Ryan H

    “Unfortunately, two mistakes that left the yard cost the Phillies their 82nd victory of the year. It also cost them in the standings; Atlanta won, the Phillies lost, so the NL East lead is now down to seven games.”

    hahahahahahahaha

     
  • Posts: 0 sbcaphil

    The “best team in baseball ” shouldn’t be losing like this. Another victory for PhillyNation? How about the National victory on front of a packed stadium? I don’t think that’s a victory for PhillyNation? The Phillies should issue an apology for another blown game. And why are you not telling PhillyNation fans about Brad Lidge’s losing performance?

     
    • Posts: 0 loupossehl

      Actually, that’s exactly how the “best team in baseball” can lose … to an also-ran with no chance of making the playoffs. You do it first by having your ace starter (unlike the Nats, we have 4 or 5 of them) in there for only a shortened stint, due to lousy weather conditions. This helps to “even the playing field” and give mediocrity (that is, the Nats) a chance. Then you use the opportunity to test out a young reliever you just brought up from AAA and he passes the test looking real good – and you wouldn’t want to throw him into the breach against, say the Braves, because – unlike Washington – Atlanta is good.

      The next test is to see whether a reliever with a deserved reputation for heart-stopping erratic performance – and who’s missed most of the season with injury – can help the club down the stretch and into the playoffs. You risk losing the game that way but, what the heck, this is the Nats, not the Brewers or Giants.

      At the end of it all, you see that the young guy you just brought up gives up a dinger, but strikes out 4 and shows the promise you hoped for. And you see that “Heartbreak Lidge” is what he is. All good to know, as we near September and what will be a victory trot into the playoffs. Sorry about that bit of presumptuousness, Nats fans, but that’s the way it is.

      That’s how a superior team headed for the playoffs – the Phillies – can lose a game to a team that will only experience the playoffs by watching TV – the Nats.

       
      • Posts: 0 Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

        Actually the Best Team in the Majors has lot 5 times in “Citizens Park South” to an “inferior team.” Overall, the record is 8-6 Phils. With four more games to be played in your park, and only 6 games ahead of Atlanta, y’all had better hope the experimentation with Rookies end or, horrors of horrors, NATS take the ’11 series and Phils win the WC!!

         
  • Posts: 0 sbcaphil

    Remember it could only takes one meltdown in October and a team foulness be watching games instead of playing games.

     
    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      So the Phillies aren’t allowed to lose games like this at all in a season? It happens. It happens all the time actually.

      And the way the Phillies fans showed up was the victory here. Did you even read it?

       
      • Posts: 0 Sam

        Bye-bye phillies fans! Thanks for all the $ you scumbags! Spent all that $ to come down to dc and heckle the nats…nats park is our house! Phillies have a losing record there this year. I love that you all generously gave us all that money that we can spend to bolster our free agency as our studly farm system and young players continue to grow, while your team is aging and will be nothing in 3 years, and the nationals will be dominant for a decade at least. dont talk if you cant beat us. couldnt happen to a nicer team! :)

         
    • Posts: 0 loupossehl

      Don’t hold your breath. The Phillies have a fix for meltdowns – it’s a detergent called Halladay-Hamels-Lee-Oswalt, with a Worley rinse. It breaks up losses into itty-bitty pieces so that big, bad losing streaks can’t form and stain your season.

       
  • Posts: 0 HotelBar

    Hey Sam. Congrats on the W. If you are going to spend all of the Phils fans money on free agents, though, try spending it more wisely than….say….giving Jayson Werth the worst contract in the history of the sport (seriously) like you did last year. We’ll see where the Nats and Phils are in the 3 years. We’ll see. What we CAN see now is the Phillies being the class of the National League as usual and the Nats fielding yet another mediocre (at best) club.

     
    • Posts: 0 natsblow

      bwahaha nail on the head. Sam is just butt hurt that his team has the worst fans in all of major league sports. go back to Montreal at least they showed up for their team. Just pathetic. Waste of a stadium although it is nice to have good accommodations for all of our home games in DC ea yr

       
      • Posts: 0 deez nats

        Phillies are just a bunch of fair weather fans. Remember how you used to pack the Vet when the phillies sucked all those years?? No, you don’t because the vet was empty. You think its so great that you come down to Nats park for a game. Thanks for your money and enjoy the ride home. When you suck again your stadium will be empty. You are the most classless fans in baseball. Nats take the series

         
      • Posts: 0 Sam

        1. scoreboard. 2. werth came through tonight! let’s see how he does next year. 3. it doesn’t matter that we overpaid for werth because we are the 2nd richest team in baseball. 4. 3 below five hundred is a far cry from where we used to be so im still enjoying it, and it will be great to beat you guys in the playoffs in a few years. 5. desmond morse werth espinosa zimmerman zimermannn lannan storen clippard and soon to come milone harper strasburg rendon peacock cole the list of bright future goes on and on and on. 6. kasten went on phili radio 2 years ago and advertised for phili fans to come to dc and buy group packages, so its not lack of fan support, its the fault of kasten, who is now gone. 7. the reason nats fans dont go to philli games is because they dont want to have deal with phili pigs who are the most disrespectful rude drunk blithering idiots i have ever seen. BOOM

         
    • Posts: 0 deez nats

      what is up with all the Werth hatred by philly?? I just don’t get it. You buy tickets in right field with your clever werthless signs yelling at him all through the game. The guy helped you win a world series a few years ago. Are you really that classless?? (yes) btw he had a clutch hit in the 10th

       
      • Posts: 0 HotelBar

        To clarify: I do not hate Werth. I love what he did when he was here. He is a solid player having a down year. To state the obvious, though: You guys gave him the worst contract in the history of the sport. Period. You will learn in a few years about why you should not give a solid player superstar $ when trying to build your team (same way Toronto did with Vernon Wells). I love Jimmy Rollins too. But if we can’t re-sign him because you guys offer him 7 years/120 mil I will say the same thing I did about Werth: Can’t blame Rollins for taking that kind of money and DAMMMMNNNNN the Nats are dumb.

         
  • Posts: 0 Jay

    Wow. Nats trolls….never thought I’d see the day. Time will tell if DC can really support a baseball club. If and when the day comes that the Nationals are a 90+ win team and can contend for a division title, I sure do hope it doesn’t end up like it did down in Tampa. Just check the attendance records.

     
    • Posts: 0 Rob

      I am not saying this is wholly a positive reflection of us, but DC loves a winner (the Caps have sold out every home game for 3 seasons now I think). So if/when we get to the regular 90+ win mark (not unrealistic considering how good our farm system has gotten) I would expect a good turn-out (probably going to be a bunch of jerks, but hey, that’s us).

       
  • Posts: 0 sportsphan

    The reason a lot of Phillies fans go to Washington to see our team is because they can’t get tickets to all the sold out games in Philly! Otherwise, we’d much rather get the good food and fun atmosphere of Citizens Bank Park. All teams go through cycles, so you may be right about what will happen in the next few years, but for right now, we’re still the class of MLB!

     
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    All’s it takes is a bad loss or two and the fucnuts,( the same two people who sign onto the board under different names, I would suspect) start to howl and crow. This season has been smooth. A hiccup here and there is permitted. Making up seven on the Phils is gonna be pretty difficult. Would kinda like another bullpen arm though. We’ll get one.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 2071 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    Nats trolls? Kewl… hey, we just bolstered the pitiful attendance in your stadium by threefold, you’re welcome.

    Is anyone else checking their watches like I have been?
    Isn’t it getting a little late in the season for the Howard train ride? You remember, in August or September we all jump on the Ryan express for a few weeks while he posts up huge numbers – its coming, right???

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    I have enough trouble posting with this one name. These guys (guy) are quasi amusing though.

    This is not the end of the world. If I was a Nats fan Id be embarrassed that philly fans pack the stadium for every phils-nats game. So let them have thier fun. This is it for them.

    We have the rest of the season and playoffs to enjoy.

    @ Brooks I cant discuss that it gets me in trouble.

    I am a little worried. Stutes been shaky. Lidge shouldnt be on a roster and the 2 “good” relievers last outing was a blown save.

     
  • Posts: 0 T.L.

    Beyond the loss on the field, it was another win for Phillies Nation. Thousands of fans packed Nationals Park once again for the weekend, something that has become the norm there.
    ———–

    I, also, would like to thank all you Philly fans for coming to DC to see your team lose two hearbreakers. Hmm, two series in a row that has happened. I hope you keep on coming, and you keep on driving back with heavy hearts and empty wallets. Thanks for the business!

    Yours,
    Ted Lerner

     
  • Posts: 0 BART SHART

    TRUTH BE TOLD, WE NEED TO GET RID OF LIDGE. HE STINKS AND WILL NEVER GET BETTER, I AM CONVINCED OF THIS. HE IS A REAL GUT GRINDER. BRING UP AUMONT AND GIVE HIM SOME MLB EXPERIENCE. LIDGE IS TRULY TOAST. PLEASE, LET’S SEE HIM GONE FOR GOOD.

    LIDGE IS NO BETTER AT THIS POINT THAN BAEZ OR JC ROMERO. BID HIM FAREWELL WITH HIS MILLIONS AND THOSE MEMORIES.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    In horse racing. You see some old broke down champions racing for peanuts some times. And I just feel bad for the horse.

    Ledge is like that now. Its really kind of sad seeing him out there all broken down. With 1 semi effective pitch. Maybe.

     
  • Posts: 103 buffy08210

    Avatar of buffy08210

    Clearly the real import of today’s game remains unclear — the status of JRolls groin. We can hope it doesn’t even warrant an MRI, but I don’t see the downside of doing one. No contrast is needed and he is still not old enough to worry that he has a pacemaker.
    Speaking of MRI, why don’t they do Chase’s knees again to see how much more abuse he can take this season? Surely imaging would be more reliable than what is likely denial on his part. Why don’t the owners and managers try to limit their own risk by protecting their players better?

     
    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      Buffy, just heard he’ll have a precautionary MRI tomorrow. They dont think it’s bad, and you have to hope they’re right.

      Does Chase look off to you? I think he looks pretty good to me.

       
      • Posts: 2071 Brooks

        Avatar of Brooks

        Chase has not looked ‘Chase’ at all this year.
        His power numbers are down, his average is down – he appears to be in decline. So does Jimmy.

         
  • [...] told his readers that today’s game shows that baseball isn’t football. Brilliant . . . Phillies Nation said they were “a little shocked” by the loss, then crowed that “Phillies Nation” won in Washington because of the [...]

     
  • Posts: 0 greg legg

    Oh you nats fans. deez nats … hilarious. Since you’re here maybe you can explain why Lannan soils himself every time he faces the Philly?

     
  • Posts: 0 greg legg

    gotta love the Philly

     
  • Posts: 0 Ryan H

    whats with all the flak for lidge . i understand he took the L in a bad way today but he’s been way better than anybody expected since returning. the run he gave up today was only the second earned run he’s given up in his 8 innings since returning. not exactly like he’s been getting lit up. in fact, he’s been striking guys out and that slider has looked filthy and his fastball is close to 90 mph.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Utleys power is over. 25 homers is never happening again.

    He has stolen 13 bases though can hit .300. IMO he is again at an all star level and and is one of the best 2b in the NL.

    The .950 OPS and 30 homers is gone. In a full season 15-20. And this isnt a full season.

    An 815-850 OPS and 30 steals from a 2b is pretty good. He may need to hit 2nd not 3rd though.

     
    • Posts: 2071 Brooks

      Avatar of Brooks

      Down accross the board Andrew – he last hit .300 in 07 and has been in decline since. Maybe a .285 – .290 average, I think 15-20 hrs but not 30 sb, his high is 23 and that was some fresh knees ago.

      As material? Perhaps. Serviceable, definitely. As long as he can stay healthy.

       
      • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

        He has 13 steals in what amounts to less than half a season. And hes 100% 13 for 13. Point is he plays the game right. Runs the bases right. Does all the little things.
        Last year he was not himself.
        This year he seems to have dealt with the physical issues and adapted his game to them.
        Hes all ball player and an asset.

        As I said he is a different player now. Because his body made him change. Seasons like the 2007 and the .973 OPS really spoiled people. 2B dont do that. Firstbaseman rarely do.

        I still personaly take him first when drafting a team of NL second baseman. Phillips better numbers but he is a chatterbox.

         
      • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

        Utley also was hitting .191 after his first 50 ABs this year ( and the long layoff) so I am guessing hes over .300 since then. Thats what he his now a line drive player who runs the bases correctly etc etc. He should be hitting 2nd not 3rd.

         
  • Posts: 0 Jay

    “Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: Phillies’ bloggers are not taking this well.” Are you serious? This is the best record the team has had at this point in the season since 2006 and all you care about is what other blogs think?

     
  • Posts: 2071 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    Pat, probably not a bad idea for a post – the decline of Utley, Jroll & Howard. Long determined to be the core of the Phillies offense. Or, arguements if you prefer.. either way I’m sure you’d peak some interest.

     
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    I don’t worry about the Phils when the bloggers that come on this site are littered with names I’ve never seen before. I WILL worry when they can rag on the Phils’ chances with actual facts, some cogent reason, followed by their real names.

    I would hope that Lidge is not placed in that position again. AFW (always right, always bitter), correctly points out that Lidge is a burned out husk. Its nice that he’s helped us do so much (que music) but the fact is that he can only hurt us going forward if he pitches. My new name for Brad is “Heartbreak” Lidge.

    More Mayberry mom!. Please.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 3060 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Ryan H….

    Respectfully….Yesterday, Lidge sucked.

    I’m gonna give Bastardo a mulligan or two….the dude’s been awesome so a blip here or there is understandable. He’ll learn from that and only be a better pitcher for it. And Madson’s choke the other night…..while upsetting and head-scratching all by itself…..that’s gonna happen sometimes too. He’s still a dominant relief pitcher and will be just fine.

    But Lidge, I’m afraid, is done. He was basically Charlie’s only option yesterday so I get the call. But I wouldn’t use him in that situation again.

     
  • Posts: 5321 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Hell yeah, we give Bastardo a mulligan. This guy has been outstanding! There are no pitchers with 0.00 era’s. Every now and then they all throw a hanger. I give one to Madson too. And Jethro is right, that it’s way past time to start establishing permanent roles in the pen.

    Now Lidge, that’s another story. He has had many chances to show he can throw a fastball, and I don’t see it. Can he become a Jamie Moyer, Livan Hernandez type? Yes next year someone could use him that way, but not as a reliever for a title contender IMO.

    As for the Nats series, we lost a couple games we shouldn’t and wouldn’t if it really mattered, just get them healthy for the postseason, the Braves are not going to catch us anyway. Don’t forget we not only have a 6.5 game lead on them, we also have three full games in hand. Let the guys that need it rest so we compete as a healthy full squad for the 11 wins we need later.

    Oh and Buh-bye Jack Cust, sorry about that Publius, we gave him a shot.

     
    • Posts: 558 Bruce

      Avatar of Bruce

      “Buh-bye Jack Cust” ?? Please translate that remark into english for us. By the way, rumors are cropping up regarding the possibility of the Phillies offering Jim Thome an opportunity to join the team before Sept. 1st and be on the playoff roster. That would be a great way to finish his glorious career with a World Series Championship ring.

       
      • Posts: 5321 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        Sorry Bruce, I’ll try to do better for you next time. It meant “Buh bye Jack Cust”. No hyphen between Buh and Bye. You are correct that was improperly posted.

        And Jim Thome would have to be passed up by 29 teams before we could bid on him if he has been put on waivers. There’s not much chance of that, maybe 10% at most. Now, if he is Dfa’d it could happen, but why would they do that when they could get something in return for him?

        See how easy that was to comment on your post politely, and in English. Sheeesh, did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed?

         
      • Posts: 3060 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        Rumor has it that Bruce is one of the most serious guys on the internet.

         
      • Posts: 558 Bruce

        Avatar of Bruce

        Hey Dude, Buh bye!! LOL
        Watch it bud; I’ll stick Andy & Jeff, ‘The Katzenjammer Kids’ on you …LOL

        In all seriousness, I never heard that expression before. I suspect there are many more like myself would say the same.

         
  • Posts: 5321 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    In case anyone missed it, check Michael Baumann’s last tweet. Weaver sets the benchmark for Cole.

     
  • Posts: 71 RatBastardNJ

    Avatar of RatBastardNJ

    Nice to see some Nat feistiness! We haven’t seen some good verbal warfare since the Mutts tanked for the past few years. I kinda miss it to be honest.

    When Lidge came in yesterday, my wife said “game over”…I said no way, give him a chance as it appeared it was doing well in the few games he pitched. Damn…I hate when my wife is right!

     
    • Posts: 3060 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      We all hate when the ladies are right!

       
  • Posts: 0 Morse 4 MVP

    Why haven’t any of you even touched on the days when you could hear a pin drop at the vet, when the Phils were among the worst in baseball, and worst in attendance? Remember when the “Met Invasion” would occur? Did you all have amnesia convieniently during those years? The one thing that should come from this weekend, is that the losses to the Nats were not a “fluke” or a minor bump in the Phillies season. These are not the same Nats that you all walked on for years. These losses are a sign of what’s to come….right now it’s youth (youngest team in baseball) vs experience (aging vets.) Name one potential superstar thats waiting in your farm system now? We have 4, possibly 5. So enjoy it while it lasts, because I guarentee it won’t be for much longer. But hey, the chanting was fun right? And as the author of this article said himself, that’s the most important part!

     
    • Posts: 3060 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      I love Michael Morse. I think he’s pretty legit. Nice ballplayer. Some other bright spots, too, in the system with Strasburg and Harper. But keep on dreamin’, dude. Oh, and enjoy Jayson Werth and the millions you guys will have to pay him for the next 6+ years. Talk about an albatross of a contract…

       
  • Posts: 0 pete

    Have a nice drive home all you stinkin Philly fans. Kickin your butts is getting to be fun. Nats will win the East next year!!!!

     
  • Posts: 1041 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    First about the empty Vet stadium, it was a bad place to see a baseball game. Since they have move to the bank the fan support has been pretty good. Second I am more worried how the Phillies tend to play down to their competition, see record in Pittsburgh. Then the pen blowing saves and giving up runs. Also JRoll;s health is the real issue that comes out of this weekend. Because I think they could get over lossing Poly even for the long term, but I do not think this PHillies team can be all it can be if JRoll is not playing every day

     
 
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