Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Back to work

I was off yesterday and did not get online at all. I am back today, a little late, but here nonetheless.

Yesterday was not a good day for the Phillies. They wasted that game, but I am not telling you anything you don't already know.

Are you concerned about the bullpen? Now is not the time to be hearing from the manager, or "Cholly" as y'all like to call him, that the bullpen is tired. These are the big innings in the big games that players are supposed to rise to the occasion.

If Manuel kept Billy Wagner out of the game last night because Billy was tired, then neither of them really wants this wild-card berth. Everyone has to step up.

The bullpen is supposed to be the strength of this team. Down the stretch they have not done their jobs.

Time is running out.

Here is what a couple of you had to say after last night's debacle:

From Beer Leaguer:

Bullpen spoils game, maybe more

Ugueth Urbina ruins an outstanding game from starter Brett Myers, as the Mets steal the first game of the series 6-5.

With the loss, the Phils fall 1.5 games back of the idle Astros in the National League Wild Card race.

Game points
I haven’t had coffee yet, I sat in traffic on the bypass and I’m dog tired from staying up for most of this game. So forget about a nice, clean recap. You get bulleted points. Bullets somehow seem appropriate.

How crazy has this season been? A month ago, the Phils had the inside track to the postseason because their bullpen was better than the rest of the Wild Card contenders. Instead, they've completely cracked.

The Urbina deal probably tipped into bust territory with last night’s meltdown. That’s his sixth blown save since joining the Phillies. Charlie Manuel made the right call by lifting Brett Myers and going with the veteran setup man. Urbina just couldn’t get it done. However, there's no excuse why Billy Wagner was not ready to make his most important save as a Phillie when things got dicey. He's paid $9 million to pitch in spots when the game is in jeopardy. Unbelievable.

Chase Utley has held his own defensively this season, but next year, I’d like to see the Phils add a top-flight infield specialist to sub Utley off the bench in the ninth. Teams use defensive subs all the time, and it would be a nice option to insert a very good fielder to protect a lead in your home park in the ninth.

Danny Graves’ chin music to Jimmy Rollins swung the momentum in Mets favor. It changed everything. Until then, the Phils were cruising.

Former Phillie Roberto Hernandez worked two innings for his third save. That’s just perfect.

What happens to the Phillies bullpen next season? Look for Eude Brito and Robinson Tejeda to move back into reliever spots, and for Urbina to exit stage right. We could see Hamburg, Pa. native Nick Evangelista next season if things get desperate. Evangelista is being groomed as a closer and is slated for Double-A Reading next season. Why the team doesn't draft more college closers, who knows? It would make life a little easier, and cheaper. As for Billy Wagner, I wouldn't give him the money he's asking. It's not a smart investment, not when other teams are getting by with pitchers like Derek Turnbow, and the Phils can't even lean on their veteran corp - or use it properly.

Look for the Mets to win this series and essentially end the Phils' playoff hopes. The momentum has swung drastically in the Mets’ favor.

From Phillies Nation:

Someone please tell me what happened last night

So I'm reading the recaps from last night's game and nothing makes sense. I feel like my whole world is shattering before my eyes and hoping that there's some sort of grave misprint by all the sports media outlets of the world. So far, this is what I can surmise:

JRoll and Burrell hit homers early, Myers pitches seven strong
Utley commits 2 errors in the same inning, Uggie gives up 4 runs, and Burrell shits the bed with the game on the line??? Am i reading this right?!? And then I read this about Wagner:

Manuel said he didn't second-guess himself for pulling Myers and didn't use Wagner because he had tightness in his left shoulder. At least that's what the manager says.

"Everybody's got soreness. Don't make no [stuff] up," said an angry Wagner, who said he was able to pitch and stormed off.
What's with this guy? Why is he always being such a baby? Has he no tact; he's always mouthing off or whining about something. Maybe if you didn't blow two games to Houston your jock wouldn't be in such a bundle. Oh yea, and nice work on setting down that ultimatum for a new contract. Now that September has come and gone and still no contract, your shallow threat looks kinda lame. I suggest you stop getting advice from T.O. and start closing both your mouth and your games.

I know this was only one game, but one game with a week to play means the world. Like Uncle Charlie said after last night's devastating loss, "We're not out of it, but we need to win. We definitely can't lose any more games." The good news is the Mets have shut down Pedro for the year and the Phils will face 7-11 Victor Zambrano tonight.

Finally, speaking of starting pitching and not to look ahead to next year already, but the Marlins just stated that A.J. Burnett will not be in teal pinstripes next season. It appears he was frustrated with Jack McKeon's managerial style. You know what that means: he's looking for the rocking chair atmosphere that only Charlie Manuel can provide.