PHOENIX - Is this what the immediate future holds?
The Phillies watched their depleted bullpen cost them another game last night in a 4-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.
After Freddy Garcia made his best start of the season and the Phillies' offense scratched out runs in the seventh and eighth innings to tie the game, Antonio Alfonseca and Francisco Rosario each allowed a run in successive innings to lose it.
The Phillies need to win tonight and tomorrow to head home 5-5 on this 10-game road trip.
They will have Adam Eaton, who has an 8.18 ERA, on the mound tonight.
The Phillies (14-18) tied the score at 3-3 in the eighth before Rosario, who suddenly is pitching in big situations with Tom Gordon and Ryan Madson on the disabled list, stepped on the mound in the bottom of the inning.
But Rosario (0-2, 6.75 ERA) walked Eric Byrnes on four pitches with one out. Byrnes moved to third on Stephen Drew's single that sneaked through the right side of the infield. First baseman Greg Dobbs might have had a play, but he was holding Byrnes on at first at the time.
Carlos Quentin then singled just past Jimmy Rollins to score Byrnes with the winning run.
It spoiled an encouraging effort from Garcia, the team's big off-season acquisition.
Garcia pronounced himself ready to pitch yesterday, less than 24 hours after he ran full-speed into a maintenance cart stopped on the warning track in center field during batting practice at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
It was ugly. He looked much better on the mound.
Garcia entered last night 1-2 with a 6.05 ERA in four starts. The pitcher who had been a workhorse with the Seattle Mariners and Chicago White Sox had not pitched more than five innings in any of his four starts with the Phillies. Pitching coach Rich Dubee and Garcia recently looked at some film from his time in Seattle and discovered a mechanical flaw.
"His last bullpen session was probably as good as he's thrown as far as commanding his fastball," Dubee said. "Hopefully, he's on the right track. Freddy's got a pretty damn good track record. We just need to get him on track to give us more innings. In the last couple games, he's kept us in games but he hasn't commanded his fastball the way he needs to."
He seemed better at that last night. In six innings, he allowed five hits, two runs and no walks. He struck out two.
Garcia threw just 70 pitches but was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the top of the seventh inning when the Phillies tied the score at 2-2.
Chris Young hit a leadoff double off Garcia in the first inning. He moved to third on a fielder's choice and scored on a sacrifice fly from Orlando Hudson to make it 1-0. Garcia did not allow another baserunner until Young doubled again in the third.
Garcia did not allow another run until the fifth when Quentin hit a leadoff double to left-center and scored on Alberto Callaspo's single to make it 2-0.
The Phillies finally scuffed up Diamondbacks lefthander Doug Davis in the seventh. Abraham Nunez and Carlos Ruiz hit back-to-back doubles to lead off the inning, making it 2-1. Jayson Werth pinch-hit for Garcia and walked. Ruiz advanced to third on a fielder's choice by Rollins and scored on a fielder's choice by Shane Victorino to tie it.
The Phillies worked hard for those runs, and then Alfonseca handed the lead right back to Arizona with a run in the bottom of the seventh. In his last five appearances, Alfonseca, who had a 0.75 ERA after his first 11 games, has allowed eight earned runs in 42/3 innings for a 15.43 ERA.
But back-to-back two-out doubles from Aaron Rowand and Wes Helms in the eighth made it 3-3. Helms had been 5 for 37 (.135) with runners in scoring position before that at-bat.
Then it was up to the bullpen.