Phillies thin on bullpen options

 Posted by at 1:45 pm
Aug 032010

August 3 Camden Courier-Post

“With a runner on third and the game tied at 4 in the 10th inning Sunday, Charlie Manuel slowly walked to the mound to confer with his pitcher.

Adam Dunn, the Nationals’ best power hitter, was at the plate. Jose Contreras, the 38-year-old righty, was on the mound. Ryan Zimmerman, who had blasted a three-run homer off closer Brad Lidge to win the game a day earlier was on deck.

Contreras told his manager he wanted Dunn, and Manuel nodded his approval.

“He told me he could get him out, but I also knew Dunn was 0-for-7 against him,” Manuel said. “If he’d have had four or five hits, I might have walked them both.”

Sure enough, Dunn struck out to end the inning, the Phillies scored twice in the top of the 11th, and Lidge recorded his first 1-2-3 inning in a save situation in nearly two months to salvage a win in the series finale.

Nice and simple, everything according to plan. If only it were always that easy.

While the addition of Roy Oswalt at the trade deadline last week may have given the Phillies the best rotation in the National League, what happens once the starter hits the showers remains a roller coaster for Philadelphia, which has blown 14 saves in 36 chances this season.

And when it comes to solving those issues, Manuel doesn’t have many options.”

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