The eighth inning is killing the Phillies; this just in. The bridge to Brad Lidge is out, washed away. You wonder how the Phillies are going to get it repaired in time.
Brett Myers left a 3-3 game in the eighth inning this evening against the Florida Marlins. He left with only one out and two runners on base, a tenuous situation for sure. But Chad Durbin couldn't get out of it, giving up a double to leftfield right out of the chute. Then, in the ninth, J.C. Romero couldn't clean up Durbin's mess, and then Clay Condrey couldn't clean up Romero's mess, and 3-3 became 7-3 and that was that.
The bullpen, so good for so long, is just fried -- not because the manager abused them, just because. In his last six appearances, Durbin's ERA is 12.80 and Romero's is 18.00. Your guys are your guys at this point, so it is hard to imagine what manager Charlie Manuel might be able to conjure. All they can do is hope that somehow, some way, these guys can rediscover what they had in the first half of the season.
Sixteen to play. You really wonder how they're going to get there, especially as long as the games are all still nine innings long.