The Phillies blew another one last night in what is believed to be the 22nd loss directly attributable to the bullpen. The Phils try to avoid the sweep this afternoon when Kyle Kendrick toes the rubber.
I didn't watch the game, which is becoming a progressively sensible choice. However, many readers tuned in and participated in a passionate Saturday night therapy session down in the comments thread. I urge everyone to review the gin-soaked discussion two posts below. It’s the best running dialogue of the season.
Andy complimented starter Kyle Lohse for throwing a nice array of pitches with excellent varied location for strikes ... and that would about do it for the positive comments. The rest scorched the bullpen, Pat Gillick and the team's fading playoff hopes.
Mike H. put Brett Myers’ night in perspective, ranking the Phillies’ closer a humble 10th among the game’s elite stoppers. The back and forth on Myers continues. As President of the Myers for Closer Fan Club, I reminded readers he’s learning on the job, had zero prep time and went from a winter hearing he was the new staff ace to becoming a closer three games into the season. Nevertheless, my platform takes another hit with Myers' rough night.
Then there’s Tom Gordon. First-ballot Hall of Fame poster, MG, pulled no punches:
“Gordon is completely shot and is a shell of the pitcher he even was last year. His curveball doesn't have the same bit and he can't even throw it for a strike consistently anymore.
“Plus, his fastball doesn't have the late life it you used. Even when he was with the Yanks, Gordon could dial it up to 94 or so when he needed. That is not the case anymore. Gordon is lucky to even hit 90 or 91 now. Just not sufficient for a reliever.
“The Phils are kidding themselves and lying to their fans if they expect Gordon to contribute in any substantial way either this season or next year. Gordon's torn labrum isn't going to get any better without surgery so I don't see how an offseason of rest will improve things. He will just see a ton of time on the DL again next year with periods of ineffectiveness.”
John Ennis/Brian Sanches: Before yesterday’s game, the Phillies recalled right-hander John Ennis from Triple-A Ottawa and designated Brian Sanches for assignment. Ennis, 27, was 4-4 with a 3.36 ERA and a 78/31 K/BB ratio in 36 games (83 innings), most recently as a starter. This is his third assignment to the Majors; the first was a spot start with Atlanta back in 2002 and the second came in 2004 when he made 12 relief appearances with Detroit.
I have no idea how Ennis will do, but I'm delighted the Phillies finally gave the great Sanches experiment a rest. With his instant DFA, Sanches makes it four or five poor call-ups in a month. Here today. Gone tomorrow. Again.
I wrote on this issue last night around 1 a.m. and will repeat it here. The Phillies called up Sanches, right, knowing dang well he wouldn't be used in the late innings of close games. He’s just another mop up guy. There are two problems with that. First, they already have two mop up guys in Geoff Geary and Clay Condrey. Second: Sanches is not a mop up guy. He's a Triple-A closer. He rarely goes long innings, and never has the ball in the middle of a game.
So why bring him up? What purpose was he supposed to serve? They use him two innings Friday night, no surprise he got bombed ... and they cut him! What did they expect?
Inquirer stuff: Bob Ford believes Charlie Manuel is manager of the year. Reporter Sam Carchidi traded verbal jabs with Myers after the game. Myers had to be restrained by Pat Burrell.
Three runs or fewer futility: The Phillies are 2-33 in games in which they score three runs or fewer, according to ESPN.com.
Game chat: Tim Stauffer (0-0, 17.18) against Kyle Kendrick (6-3, 4.06). Winnable game. Stauffer leads the league in having a name that sounds like someone from Berks County, Pennsylvania. Mash your fists against the keyboard here, in the company of others.