I've received a couple emails asking why Charlie Manuel did not bring in J.C. Romero in the eighth to retire one batter and get the Phillies to the ninth. Carlos Delgado ended up tying the game with a home run off Rudy Seanez and the Mets went on to win.
It's natural in hindsight to wonder, but consider the following:
1) Romero had pitched in three straight games and in four of the last five.
2) Romero had thrown 66 pitches in those three games, the most he has thrown on consecutive days this season without a break.
3) Romero had never thrown that many pitches in consecutive games without a day off since becoming a reliever in 2002.
4) Romero had never before had three consecutive appearances throwing 20 or more pitches in each.
5) Seanez had easily retired the first two batter he faced.
I'm not saying you can't make an argument that Romero should have been in there. But after considering the aforementioned five facts, it's hard to do.
II. Other bullpen facts:
One of the big keys for the Phillies down the stretch will be getting the same performance out of a bullpen that dominated for the first three-quarters of the season. Certainly, the pen has shown some cracks lately, particularly with Tom Gordon and Rudy Seanez spending time on the disabled list. Charlie Manuel has said he is concerned about keeping his bullpen fresh.
As a whole, you wouldn't think the Phillies bullpen is "tired":
1) The Phillies bullpen has pitched 396 2/3 innings this season, the third fewest of any bullpen in the National League (Arizona, Milwaukee)
2) The average National League bullpen has thrown 419 innings.
However. . .
1) Chad Durbin has thrown 73 2/3 innings, the second most in the NL.
2) Ryan Madson has thrown 68 1/3, tied for sixth-most in the NL.
3) Madson and durbin have combined to throw the second-most innings of any pair of relievers in the league (Washington's Joel Hanrahan and Saul Rivera have combined to throw 147 2/3).
Here are some of the Phillies' more utilized relievers' statistics since Aug. 1:
Durbin: 2-0, 3.14 ERA, .294 BAA, 14 1/3 IP
Madson: 1-1, 1.93 ERA, .224 BAA, 14 IP
Lidge: 0-0, 3.12 ERA, .265 BAA, 5 Saves, 8 2/3 IP
Eyre: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, .087 BAA, 7 2/3 IP
Condrey: 0-1, 3.00 ERA, .353 BAA, 12 IP
Some other things to keep in mind:
1) Chad Durbin's 1.95 ERA is the third-best in the NL among relievers with at least 40 innings pitched.
2) J.C. Romero's 2.29 ERA is seventh best.
3) Brad Lidge's 2.30 ERA is ninth-best.
As far as the bullpen goes, the Phillies called up lefthander Fabio Castro today from Triple A Lehigh Valley and sent Andrew Carpenter back to Double A Reading. Carpenter pitched a scoreless inning in his major league debut last night against the Mets.
Castro was 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA in three games for the IronPigs after going 8-2 with a 4.40 ERA in 27 games at Reading.