Look at it this way. There’s always a chance Rheal Cormier will miss his flight and get stranded in the desert.
With the Phillies inching back from a 6-2 deficit, Cormier blew the game in a four-run seventh, including a three-run homer by Troy Glaus. The Diamondbacks went on to take the final game of the series 10-5 in a high-profile bust in prime time.
Not that it made sense for manager Charlie Manuel to use his worst reliever in that situation. With a bullpen as ragged as Arizona’s, a two run deficit in the seventh should be treated like a tie ballgame. Ryan Madson had been warming up to pitch his usual spot. After Madson, a fresh Ugueth Urbina and Billy Wagner could have pitched the eighth and ninth. They hadn’t pitched since Wednesday.
Instead, Manuel went with Cormier of 5.56 ERA and .312 BA to right-handers. After issuing a walk to Luis Gonzalez and a single to Tony Clark, that should have been it with the right-handed Glaus up next. Instead, Manuel kept him in, and the only question at that point was how far Glaus would crush it.
The answer was around 400 feet.
It’s interesting that Buddy Groom, the left-hander in the opposite bullpen, was designated for assignment by the Yankees and has a lower ERA than Cormier, which has to be around 6.00 now. That's unacceptable for a team in the playoff hunt.
It’s time to explore those kinds of options for Cormier, who no longer helps them. Maybe they can swing him to the Giants and get Kelvin Pichardo back.
The good news: all the Wild Card contenders lost today. No reason to get too down about this one. They're still 3-3 on the road trip.