Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Is the bullpen shattering the Phillies confidence?

One has to wonder how much the Phillies bullpen struggles are demoralizing the team.

Is the bullpen shattering the Phillies confidence?

Marlon Byrd after striking out against the Nationals. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Marlon Byrd after striking out against the Nationals. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

One has to wonder how much the Phillies bullpen struggles are demoralizing the team.

The Phillies suffered their sixth blown save in Friday’s 5-3 loss to the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park.

With the six blown saves, the Phillies are tied for the second most in the Major Leagues.

Mike Adams deserves credit for facing the media scrutiny afterwards, answering all the questions, but with an 8.41 ERA one has to wonder how much longer he will be pitching in the eighth inning, or any inning at all.

More coverage
VOTE: Who'll be the next coach/manager to leave?
POLL: Is Klentak the right choice for the Phils as GM?
Final season stats for Phillies
Download FREE Philly Sports Now app for iPhone!
Buy Phillies jerseys and other gear
WATCH: Daily fantasy baseball updates

Adams allowed three runs without recording an out in the eighth inning, turning a 3-2 lead into the Phillies eighth loss in the last 10 games to the Nationals.

Who would have thought at this point that closer Jonathan Papelbon would be the least of the Phillies concerns?

With a 2.38 ERA and eight saves in nine chances, Papelbon is one pitcher who has inspired confidence to this point.

Getting to Papelbon has been the problem.

So one has to wonder how much the relievers are pressing.

“It is always disappointing when you go out there and don’t do the job,” Adams said. “Especially with the inconsistency of the bullpen – it is a little more heightened.”

Adams says the relievers haven’t been talking among themselves about the struggles, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t entered their thought process. And Adams and the rest of the bullpen understand how important a consistent bullpen is.

“If we don’t do our job, we’re not going to be successful as a team,” Adams said. “You go out there and try not to think about the past and put it behind you, attack hitters and do it the right way.”

Manager Ryne Sandberg has done a good job of not expressing outward frustration with his bullpen. What is said behind closed doors is anybody’s guess.

“We’ve shown good stuff at various times, we just need the consistency,” Sandberg said. “We need consistency out of the bullpen.”

And while the bullpen’s problems were magnified, the offense shouldn’t be let off the hook.

After scoring three unearned first inning runs on Marlon Byrd’s three-run home run, the Phillies were blanked the rest of the way.

The Phillies were 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.

So the Phillies need to hit better in the clutch, pitch better in the late innings and more importantly have the confidence that both can be accomplished on a regular basis.  



We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

The place for up-to-the-minute Phillies coverage from The Inquirer's beat writers and columnists.

Jake Kaplan Inquirer Staff Writer
Bob Brookover Inquirer Columnist
Marc Narducci Inquirer Staff Writer
Matt Breen Inquirer Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
letter icon Newsletter