Phillies Bullpen Stands Ready To Close It Out

While the Phillies lack of hitting with runners in scoring position has dominated the World Series analysis, the pitching has gone overlooked. The bullpen has been especially tough in shutting down the Rays.

While the Phillies starters have done a nice job, the bullpen has still had some tough spots to work out of in their series with Tampa Bay and they've thrown 5 2/3 innings over the past two games, with Chad Durbin, Scott Eyre, Ryan Madson and J.C. Romero each pitching both of those games. During the regular season, Ryan Madson pitched three days in a row four times during the season and had success on the third day of each run. In fact, on those third days, he threw 2 2/3 shutout innings. Coming into Game 5, Madson has thrown two innings over the past two days, and he had done at least that during his regular season three-day stints. Romero pitched back-to-back-to-back six times and went four straight days twice and like Madson pitched well on the third day, giving the Phillies a total of 5 1/3 shutout innings on day three.

While they're not necessarily as key as Madson and Romero, Durbin and Eyre have also gone three straight days during the season, albeit not as often as the others. Durbin went three straight days just once this season, throwing 1/3 of an inning on day three without any problem. Scott Eyre did it twice, but got hit around a little the second time he attempted the feat, giving up a run in 1 1/3 innings of work.

Overall, the four pitchers have a combined ERA of just 0.93 on their third straight appearance. Clay Condrey and J.A. Happ have not pitched in the series.

Then, there's Mr. Perfection; Brad Lidge. The Phillies closer hasn't been called on in either of the last two games, although he has warmed up a couple of times late in both games. In fact, Lidge, who was so important to the Phillies success this season, hasn't pitched since Game 1 in Tampa Bay. During the regular season, Lidge had no problem with a little extra rest here and there. Ten times during the season, he had at least four days off between appearances - which is what he has now - and he allowed just one earned run on four hits over ten innings on his return.

Any bullpen is made better when the starters do their job. Over the first four games of the series, the Phillies starters have each gone at least six innings and handed over a lead to the bullpen in three out of four games in the series. In one of those games though, the tying run was at the plate and the bullpen was able to preserve the Phillies lead. In their four games, the starters have a 3.42 ERA and the bullpen has just a 1.04 ERA through 8 2/3 innings of work.

During the season, Madson and Lidge had combined to basically make it a seven inning game, because if the Phillies had the lead after seven, it was tough for an opponent to come back. With Cole Hamels on the mound, the Phillies have come to expect a strong outing and in the postseason, Hamels has averaged over seven innings per start.

Luckily for the Phillies, the pitching has been strong, because with the Phillies inability to hit with runners in scoring position, they could have found themselves in a hole at this point of the series, rather than staring down Broad Street and a predicted parade, possibly by mid-week.

Phillies postseason pitching stats

PITCHER W L ERA SV G IP H R ER BB KO HR WHIP OPP AVG
Hamels 4 0 1.55 0 4 29.0 18 5 5 8 27 2 0.90 .182
Myers 2 1 4.74 0 3 19.0 15 11 10 10 12 1 1.32 .217
Moyer 0 2 8.49 0 3 11.2 15 11 11 4 10 1 1.63 .326
Blanton 2 0 3.18 0 3 17.0 16 6 6 6 18 3 1.29 .246
STARTERS 8 3 3.78 0 13 76.2 64 33 32 28 67 7 1.20 .229
Condrey 0 0 5.40 0 2 1.2 1 1 1 3 1 0 2.40 .250
Dubrin 0 0 2.70 0 6 3.1 7 2 1 3 3 1 3.00 .412
Eyre 0 0 3.00 0 5 3.0 3 1 1 1 2 0 1.33 .273
Happ 0 0 3.00 0 1 3.0 4 1 1 2 2 0 2.00 .364
Lidge 0 0 1.08 6 8 8.1 5 1 1 3 12 0 0.96 .161
Madson 1 0 1.50 0 10 12.0 8 2 2 1 11 0 0.75 .186
Romero 1 0 0.00 0 7 6.0 0 0 0 3 7 0 0.50 .000
RELIEVERS 2 0 1.69 6 39 37.1 28 8 7 16 38 1 1.18 .207
TOTALS 10 3 3.08 6 13 114.0 92 41 39 44 105 8 1.19 .222



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