Results tagged ‘ B.J. Rosenberg ’
Why no one on the Phillies staff can seem to pitch well in the 8th inning is an on-going and unsolved mystery. And in last night’s appalling 9-2 loss to the Marlins, this baffling problem was magnified once again.
No one pitched particularly well yesterday, not even Roy Halladay. He was not bad, obviously, but while 3 runs in 7 innings is great for most guys, it is slightly sub-par for a guy of Halladay’s pedigree. Still, the offense gave him no support except for 2 RBI from Ty Wigginton, one of which was a solo homer.
But as soon as the Phillies approached that irritating 8th inning, all heck broke loose. B.J. Rosenburg walked the first batter and then allowed 2 straight singles. He has been terrible and his 12.79 ERA is screaming, “Send me back to the minors!” Raul Valdes got an out and then intentionally walked a guy as he was told to before being pulled. That walk eventually counted against his, which really is not right. He did his job.
And then the real fun began when Michael Schwimer took over and balls started flying all over the ballpark. By the time it was finally over, the Marlins had scored 6 runs in one inning.
So what is the deal with the 8th inning and this team? Look at the chart to the right; the Phillies have a 5.38 ERA in the dreaded 8th inning. By far, this is where the poorest pitching occurs. The only thing worse is when they go into extra innings.
This is a clear indication that the Phillies bullpen needs a complete overhaul, but we already knew that. The frustrating part is that it does not seem to matter who they put in there in the 8th. It is some weird curse now; pitch in the 8th, get knocked around, end of story.
And while this issue is on-going, something even worse happened in this game. Jimmy Rollins was clearly not interested in playing last night, and I am apparently not the only one who noticed. His lack of hustle was blatant and obvious in several situations. A fan who called him out on Twitter asking him to run out the play because, “youngsters are watching you.” Rollins responded with, “well u make sure u tell them what to do.” Oh my.
Clearly, this Phillies season has been fun for no one. But as fans, we still expect a level of professionalism and effort regardless of the standings. No one wants to pay to see a bunch of guys making millions of dollars taking their good fortune for granted. And this is not the 1st time we have seen this attitude from Rollins, which only magnifies the situation.
This is indeed a sad state of affairs all around. It is really unfortunate as well that these problems have now overshadowed the fact that the Phillies have won 2 series in a row, despite yesterday’s ugly loss.
The Brewers are up next: Game time tonight is 8:10pm.
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The Phillies managed to spend only one day out of the basement in the NL East after Saturday’s win. But Sunday’s twin killing against the Rays propelled them right back to where they apparently belong; in last place. When your two best starters are pitching and you still lose both games, things have clearly gone very, very wrong.
In the first game, Cole Hamels was practically unhittable. He did not allow a run over 7 innings and gave up only 3 hits.
Leaving the game with a 1-0 lead, the bullpen was going to have to pitch 2 clean innings. And as you probably already know, that did not happen.
I try not to say too much about how Charlie Manuel handles this team. Because frankly, what he has been given to work with is on par with a minor league team. But after Antonio Bastardo walked 2 batters in the 8th with just a 1-run lead, he should not have been allowed to continue. Bastardo was awful the day before and clearly, he still has not found proper command of his pitches. So why then is he left in to pitch to Carlos Pena?
Apparently, he was left in to clear the bases for the next pitcher as he gave up a 3-run homer to Pena. I saw that coming, as did everyone in my section screaming, “Take him out!” But Manuel puts blind faith in these guys even when it has become obvious to everyone else that the leash has gotten far too long.
Then again, look at the players Manuel has to choose from. The pickings are slim. This bullpen just sucks, so in that regard, it is still hard to blame the manager. I still don’t agree with the decision to leave Bastardo in, but I am also glad I was not the one having to make that decision.
And then in the 8th with 2 outs and the bases loaded, Manuel left Michael Martinez in to bat instead of pinch hitting. Martinez is hitting .133 and could not hit the broad side of a barn right now. After the game, Manuel told the media that neither Juan Pierre nor Mike Fontenot were hitting lefties well, so he left Martinez in. The issue with that is, Martinez is not hitting ANYONE right now.
Angry at the media for asking, Manuel suggested the reporters should tweet him with their in-game decisions saying, “You guys can float the information down there to me, being as I ain’t smart enough to get it.” Oh my…
Here are a few other random shots from the 1st game, which the Phillies went on to lose, 3-2.
In game 2, Cliff Lee basically squashed any shot he may have had at his first win of the season by allowing 5 runs over 7 innings. His last 3 starts have been awful. Where did our ace go?
Perhaps the strain of not having a win has finally stolen whatever small amount of sanity he had left? No one really knows what is going on here.
Placido Polanco tried to get this team going. He went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI and a walk. John Mayberry Jr. also had a big hit and an RBI. And it was apparently “opposite day” for Hunter Pence who drew 3 walks in the game.
But the offense literally ended there. The Phillies managed only 4 hits and left 6 men on base.
And just so Lee did not feel singled out in this one, some of the rookie pitchers decided to help out with 5 walks, a wild pitch and 2 more runs for the Rays in one inning. It looks like B.J. Rosenberg’s major league career may be over before it began. He was responsible for all that damage except 1 of the walks.
Adding insult to injury, catcher Brian Schneider was leveled at home plate by Sean Rodriguez coming in to score. He left the game with a sprained ankle. Later, Pence almost took out the Rays catcher in a weird semi-collision with Jose Molina’s outstretched leg.
Schneider is now on the DL and the Phillies went down for the count in a 7-3 loss.
The Pirates come to town next for a 4-game series starting tonight at 7:05pm.
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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
The Phillies rallied on Friday night for 9 runs and a win that broke their 6-game losing streak. Then Saturday afternoon, they went right back to losing with a 6-4 defeat to the Orioles in 12 innings.
The combination of losing, errors, injuries and bad play may be the straw that breaks the Phillies’ collective backs. Speaking of broken backs, Freddy Galvis has one of those…literally. The acrobatic rookie second baseman was diagnosed with a pars fracture in his back.
This injury is an insult to an already depleted team now on their 3rd string 2nd baseman, Mike Fontenot, who committed 2 official errors in today’s loss and 1 that did not show up in the box score. Those errors cost the Phillies a few runs and probably the game. By the way, it was Fontenot’s 32nd birthday…what a way to celebrate.
Galvis will get a second opinion, but the outlook is bleak. A back fracture means a minimum of 6 weeks in a brace and then a very slow rehab process. Galvis was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dim season for the Phillies. And now, that small bit of joy is gone too.
Adding to the depressing vibe, the Phils sent lefty Raul Valdes to the minors and called up rookie B.J. Rosenberg. Valdes was actually doing a good job, but with too many lefties in the pen, he was the odd man out. Rosenberg had one very good inning in his big league debut but then got thrown to the wolves, forced to pitch a second inning in his very first game. Rosenberg gave up a walk-off 2-run homer, handing the O’s the win.
The only good news today was Jim Thome getting back into the swing of things with 5 hits and a homer over the past 2 games. And Chad Qualls pitched 2 scoreless innings, which based on his recent performance, was a small miracle. Qualls also provided comic relief as he slipped on the mound for no apparent reason and landed flat on his backside.
But that was the end of the smiles for the day as the Phillies lost yet another winnable game. They will try again tomorrow; game time is 1:35pm. The still winless Cliff Lee will go for it yet again…wish him luck!
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
The timetable for closer Brad Lidge to return may have just been pushed back. After multiple off-season surgeries on both his knee and elbow, Lidge is still experiencing pain in the elbow, although no structural damage has been found. As a result, he was given a cortisone shot. His doctor reports that the elbow inflammation is unrelated to the surgery.
While the team and Lidge are downplaying the seriousness of this issue, a cortisone shot is not a good sign. The fact that the pain is “unrelated” to the surgery could mean that this is a new issue; either that or they are just not giving us all of the facts. In addition, the frequency of injuries that Lidge seems to suffer from does not inspire confidence. Here is a quick review of Lidge’s injury history.
- Lidge missed parts of his first four professional seasons with a variety of injuries, including a torn rotator cuff, right shoulder tendinitis and a broken forearm that almost ended his career.
- 2002: strained intercostal muscle near the rib cage
- December 2003: arthroscopic surgery on his left knee
- June – July 2005: shut down with elbow issues
- May 2007: bone bruise on his right femur near his knee
- June – July 2007: left oblique strain
- October 2007: surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee
- February 2008: tore the meniscus in the same knee he just had surgery on during his first pitch off a mound in Spring Training.
- June 2009: sprained right knee and a sore elbow (his flexor pronator tendon).
- January 2010: surgery on both the elbow and the right knee again.
- March 2010: the elbow is still an issue and Lidge gets a cortisone injection.
Based on the evidence, are we to conclude that Lidge is made of glass? Fans grumbled when he came to Philly because of the injury history, but all was quickly forgotten when 2008 turned into the Perfect Season for him. 2009 was a disaster for Lidge and now, 2010 is not looking good either. Let the grumbling begin…
Another key Phillies pitcher has recently joined the injury parade; starter Joe Blanton strained his left oblique muscle while throwing in the bullpen on Wednesday. He has been placed on the 15-day DL, which puts his earliest return around April 20-28. This type of issue tends to drag on and take a while to heal, which is not good news for the Phillies.
Although, this is good news for Kyle Kendrick who will probably join the rotation now. And that leaves one bullpen spot open as well. Pitchers B.J. Rosenberg and Michael Stutes will travel north to Philly tomorrow for the last two exhibition games and it is likely that one of them may make the team now.
In other recent pitching disasters, Roy Halladay faced his former team for the first time yesterday. The Blue Jays, knowing their old teammate well, took advantage and nailed Halladay for 4 runs in the first inning including a 2-run homer. Halladay recovered and finished off the next two innings without incident. So maybe not quite a disaster….just another Spring Training game so no one really cares ;o)
The Phillies will face the Pirates today and then return to Philly tomorrow for the last few games before Opening Day on Monday in D.C.
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Photo by Jenn