Phillies’ Bullpen Issues

Phillies Reliever, Ryan Madson

Phillies Reliever, Ryan Madson

During the Phillies fantastic run to the World Series championship last season, the bullpen would always deliver.  Brad Lidge converted all of his save opportunities and Ryan Madson was regarded as one of the best set-up men in the league.  Others were dependable, including J.C. Romero, Clay Condrey and Chad Durbin.  Not sure what is going on this season.

Lidge has blown 6 saves before his stint on the disabled list with a sprained knee.  Prior to coming to the Phillies, he was a head case with the Houston Astros and consistently had problems being a consistent closer.  We thought this all changed after his marvelous season last year.  The change of scenery, the winning attitude and some of the old-school type of ball players on the Phillies definitely helped him out.  What’s going on this year?  Has he returned to the head case he once was?  The team hasn’t changed much and his role didn’t change.  Maybe added pressure to repeat?  Maybe players know how to hit him now?  Or, perhaps last season was an illusion/aberration?  Our Dad thinks the entire Phillies team was an illusion.  Hopefully, Lidge’s stint on the DL and his rehab assignment will help him get back to 2008 form.  We need him.

In the last week, Kyle Kendrick and Clay Condrey have given up multiple runs in late innings.  Both times, I think they were each given the ball by Charlie Manuel and were told something like this:  “It’s your game to win, there is no else who is going to pitch.”  They both blew it.  Even dependable Ryan Madson, forced into a closer’s role has blown 2 saves. 

The once dependable Phillies bullpen has become my biggest concern.  The inconsistencies of starting pitching can be masked by a strong bullpen.  This current lot of Phillies relievers better get their act together or we can stop talking about the playoffs, let alone a repeat.

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