Philadelphia Phillies’ Bullpen Offensive Enough To Tie NLCS Series

October 17, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

For Phillies fans, the joy of Game One of the NLCS was gone, when the Dodgers walked away with a 2-1 victory Friday.

The series is now tied 1-1 with Game Three in Philadelphia on Sunday night.

Wasted was a two-hit, three-strikeout, no walk performance by veteran Pedro Martinez, who hadn’t pitched in 17 days. Martinez’s day was over when Greg Dobbs pinch hit for him in the top of the eighth inning.

The Phillies used five relief pitchers in the bottom of the eighth and singles, walks and Chase Utley’s second error in as many days gave the Dodgers their first lead of the day. J.A. Happ allowed a bases-loaded walk to Andre Ethier to put the Dodgers up 2-1.

Even in Game One, with the Phillies holding an 8-4 lead in the bottom of eighth, Madson gave up two runs before getting Manny Ramirez to ground out to end the inning.

A article on Saturday deemed the first four pitchers in the eighth as “The Faulty Four” and the results as a disaster. True. But really, though, the Phillies bullpen has not been bad.

But the deeper you go in the playoffs, not bad is not good enough.

The Dodgers meanwhile—save Game One goat George Sherill, whom Ibanez made look like he still pitched in the Independent League—shut down the Phillies after Vincente Padilla’s fine one-run, 7 1/3 inning performance.

In fact, Hong-Chih Kuo and Jonathan Broxton allowed no hits, no runs, and no walks in their combined inning and a half work.

Perfect. Where have you heard that term used in relation to bullpen pitcher(s)?

Brad Lidge, 2008: 48-for-48 save opportunities, including the playoffs.

Before you panic, Phillies fans, I still believe that the Phillies’ offense is better than the Dodgers pitching.

But how often in the past month have you seen the Phillies go cold, save Ryan Howard’s powerful bat?

The Phillies will lose in seven games if they alternately produce great and timely hitting/average pitching, followed in the next game by cold offense, great starting pitching and suspect bullpen.

The further you go in the playoffs, the less room for error.

A trip home should bode well for the Phillies. They are in good shape with three straight home games and three wins needed to return to the World Series.

But they have to get skinny on pitching (Pedro Martinez did his job) and fat on offense.

As Jimmy Rollins said in the locker room after the Rockies series, “Defending the World Championship is not that easy.”


Note: As an FC, I wrote my third story of the week Friday. The photo for my story would not post all morning long, making it impossible to post my story. It happens: When I worked for a newspaper laying out pages, occasionally I would lose a whole page. It seemed easier to put the page back, remembering what it looked like. In this case, I wrote a second-game story. A first-game story posted today would be outdated.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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