Injured reliever Tom Gordon may not have been sharp before his June 6 trip to the DL, but his absence means more innings, more mismatches and more heat on the back of the Phillies’ bullpen.
Lost in the Brett Myers shuffle was Ryan Madson’s three-run sixth inning, which put the Mets ahead for good 6-3. Madson served up a level pitch for Jose Reyes to wail on for a three-run jack, equaling the number of runs Myers allowed through five, no-control innings.
Before last night, Madson had been steadily working his way back into Charlie Manuel’s good graces; he had not allowed a run in his last nine appearances and was seeing action in something like a set-up role. The numbers show that his best work has come in high-leverage situations, so last night was definitely something of a rarity, not just for Madson, but for the entire bullpen. We haven't seen many of those "losses directly attributable to the bullpen" we've complained about in previous seasons.
Realizing it’s only one game and the bullpen has been solid, take heed. One of the main dangers of Gordon's absence is that J.C. Romero will continue to be thrust into mismatches. Right-handed batters are hitting .304 against him, and his WHIP is 2.37. We’re also starting to see Clay Condrey creep into games like last night, with the outcome still in question. Condrey is fine at what he does, but he doesn't classify as a high-leverage reliever. Meanwhile, Rudy Seanez has become a non-factor, just like his ’07 second half with the Dodgers. At 39, Philadelphia will likely be the end of the line for the journeyman right-hander. And it would take a blowout for Manuel to test Adam Eaton.
Wake up, Utley: Pioneering Beerleaguer GM-Carson gives us Chase Utley’s month-by-month AVG/OPS. It's not pretty:
Utley has yet to get a hit this series and last homered on July 7. During the game chat, readers asked “What's up with Utley?” It’s a good question. Yesterday, I was asked the same question for FoxSports Radio. The host suggested that he looks worn down. I agreed.