SAN FRANCISCO - The Phillies suddenly need a new setup man.
Hint: It's the same as the old setup man. Or setup men.
Charlie Manuel said before last night's game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park that righthanders Antonio Alfonseca (1-1, 3.38 ERA in 13 appearances) and Ryan Madson (0-2, 3.45 ERA in 11 appearances) would share the role.
Brett Myers had held the setup role since April 18, when the Phillies moved him into the bullpen. But Myers is now the closer because the Phillies are expected to place Tom Gordon on the disabled list today with inflammation in his right rotator cuff.
Could the Phillies acquire bullpen help from outside the organization with Gordon on the disabled list?
Don't bet on it. With big-league pitchers dropping like flies, Phillies general manager Pat Gillick said pitching was a precious commodity.
The Giants placed righthander
on the disabled list with a nerve problem in his right elbow, which means righthanded phenom
is expected to start Sunday.
Lincecum, the team's first-round pick last June, will face lefthander Cole Hamels. Lincecum is 4-0 with a 0.29 ERA for triple-A Fresno.
Including last night, the Phillies are playing their next 17 games outside the National League East, which could seem only to help them. The Phils played 21 of their first 27 games against NL East rivals and went 8-13 (.381). They entered last night's game with a 4-2 mark against the rest of the league.
The Phils entered last night with a 50-36 record in May since 2004. That's tied for second in the NL with St. Louis, behind only San Diego (56-30).