And that’s waste strong starting pitching by coughing up leads late.
Take away a Jonathan Papelbon implosion and another loss charged to the bullpen, and the Phils are 5-1 instead of 3-3 after a season-opening six-game road trip.
In Texas, A.J. Burnett and Kyle Kendrick combined for 13 innings and two earned runs (1.38 ERA), but both starts went for no-decisions and two Phillies losses.
That can’t happen. When the Phils receive starts like those from their third, fourth and fifth starters, they must capitalize. As evidenced Sunday, Burnett can be brilliant and then brutal. Same goes for Kendrick and Roberto Hernandez.
So, bullpen, win the ones you get.
In 2012, the Orioles went 29-9 in one-run games to clinch a postseason berth. In 2013, they went 20-31 in one-run games and missed the postseason.
Of all the things the Phillies need to go right, the bullpen may be the most critical.
“Not a bad week,” Jimmy Rollins said Sunday after the Phils' 8-3 loss, per CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury, “but it could have been better.”
The Phillies better hope that’s not the theme of their 2014.