This Phillies bullpen sucks. There are few more accurate ways to describe it. The young pitchers are up one day and way down the next; the veterans are too inconsistent and have the threat of injuries, both past and present, constantly haunting them.
But the real shame of Monday night’s 9-6 loss to the Braves was the wasted 8th inning 5-run rally, including a 3-run shot from Domonic Brown. That gave the Phillies a 6-5 lead, which was wiped away in the 9th inning with a Dan Uggla Grand Slam. Ugh.
It seems the 2014 Phillies may actually have the spirit and possibly the offense to carry them to a winning season. But without the pitching, they are sunk. It is only mid-April and this team is already breaking records, and not in a good way.
B.J. Rosenberg gave up 3 home runs to consecutive batters last night. That feat has not occurred in literally over 100 years of MLB history. Sure, he has a nice fastball. But clearly, he has no idea what to do with it.
Jake Diekman has a big arm too. But the lack of experience, recent overuse and general wildness is holding him back. Pretty much every guy in the Phillies pen is suspect. Mike Adams is back, but after being out for so long with such an array of injuries, the expectations of him are low.
Even the starting pitching has major issues. Roberto Hernandez looked winded last night after only 5 innings. He has yet to make it through 6 innings. And now A.J. Burnett has been diagnosed with a hernia. He will pitch through the pain, which is not a comforting thought.
Some of these guys have real talent, like Diekman. But even the smartest students do not always get good grades. Many times, the results depend on the teacher. So why are the Phillies seemingly unable to develop their talent? And how deep within the organization does this disconnect go? This is not a new problem. It seems like every year, the Phillies bring up young pitchers who are just not prepared.
I wish I had the answers to those questions. Thoughts? Feel free to comment below.
Game 2 with the Braves begins at 7:05pm tonight.