I don’t want to hear any more griping about the Phillies’ offense. The bats are hardly bulletproof, but the pitching is so bad right now, complaining about not getting in guys from third feels like a waste of time. When you give up 11 runs, you’re not going to win many games. When your bullpen is the worst in the league and consists almost entirely of minor league arms, you aren’t going to win many games. Kyle Kendrick is currently offering up the latest in a long line of poor starting pitching efforts. He gives up two bombs and five runs before a Phillie even stepped in the batter’s box.
This was to be a pretty big game this afternoon. A win means a 6-4 home stand, which sounds an awful lot better than 5-5. If you can go 6-4, you can talk yourself into a positive frame of mind. A .500 record feels like a wasted week and a half. Of course, two days ago the Phils were sitting at 5-3 on the home stand and faced with an interesting decision. Should they call up an arm, any arm, from the minor leagues to start the game, or should they turn it over to the bullpen. There was no obvious choice in the minors, but the Phillies possess the worst bullpen in the NL. They had to come back today with an ice-cold Kyle Kendrick. It’s almost like they didn’t want to acknowledge the likely outcome.
You could say the same thing in regard to the decision to call up Jeremy Horst and Brian Sanches. The Phillies sent Joe Savery back to AAA and designated Chad Qualls for assignment. That’s fancy baseball speak for, “we can’t trade you and we don’t want you.” Qualls could end up in Lehigh, or he could be gone. Either way, his role of setting 7th innings on fire will fall to someone else. It likely won’t be Horst or Sanches, both of whom feel like a couple of new crash test dummies straight from the box. The Phillies aren’t really hoping that these guys are going to turn into reliable setup men, are they?
I’m sure they’re not, but it’s just reflective of how few options they have right now. The combination of injuries (Stutes, Contreras, Herndon) and ineffectiveness (Qualls, Savery, Schwimer) has the Phils searching for an answer that might not exist within the organization. So, if they don’t make a deal or two, they might start sending guys with JUGGS guns around to your local ball field. Work on your breaking pitches.