Photo by: Tom Mihalek/AP
The Phillies bullpen has always been a question mark. Today proved once again that this bullpen is far from perfect.
The Phillies took a 9-4 lead into the 9th inning this afternoon against the Minnesota Twins. Jose Contreras was brought in, but did not last very long. He gave up three runs on two hits and only recorded one out. Brad Lidge then tried to clean up the mess and record the save. It didn’t turn out too well. Lidge surrendered a two-run home run to Twins superstar catcher Joe Mauer to tie the game.
The game went into extra innings with each team scoring a run in the 10th inning. Drew Butera and Ross Gload each went deep with their respective clubs.
In the 11th inning, Danys Baez started off the inning with a strikeout. Baez hasn’t pitched well at all this season. He got the inning off to a good start. But then he fell apart. He allowed an RBI single to Delmon Young and an RBI double to Matt Tolbert. In all, Baez surrendered two hits and gave up three runs. That was truly too much for the Phillies to overcome. The Phillies fell to the Twins 13-10 in a heartbreaker.
Cole Hamels certainly didn’t lose this game for the Phillies. Sure he didn’t pitch his absolute best. Hamels gave up four runs on five hits in seven innings. Any time your offense scores nine runs for you, you should win the game. The bullpen blew this one plain and simple. I think the bullpen is an area that needs to be improved at the trade deadline this year. I think the Phillies can get through with their starting pitching as it stands. But I don’t want to see Baez pitching in a pressure situation in October. Maybe Ryan Madson will come back healthy and pitch well. Only time will tell, but it’s certainly something worth watching if you’re Ruben Amaro Jr.