Phillies Notes: Phillies' relievers overworked
BOSTON - At least Joe Blanton made it past the second inning. For the second straight day, a Phillies starting pitcher allowed nine runs to the Red Sox. On Friday, Jamie Moyer made the worst start of his 24-year career, allowing nine runs while retiring just three batters before being yanked in the second.
BOSTON - At least Joe Blanton made it past the second inning.
For the second straight day, a Phillies starting pitcher allowed nine runs to the Red Sox. On Friday, Jamie Moyer made the worst start of his 24-year career, allowing nine runs while retiring just three batters before being yanked in the second.
Blanton, on Saturday, was barely better. He allowed nine runs and 13 hits in four innings, leaving an overworked Phillies pitching staff even thinner.
In the last two games, the Phillies have used eight pitchers. The bullpen has logged 11 innings. Manager Charlie Manuel said he would discuss the situation with pitching coach Rich Dubee on Saturday night, but he didn't anticipate needing to add an extra arm before Sunday's series finale at Fenway Park.
"Right now, we can get by tomorrow," Manuel said.
Moyer and Blanton accomplished a feat the Phillies haven't seen in quite some time. They were the first two starters to allow at least nine runs in back-to-back games since July 8-9, 1993, when Danny Jackson and Ben Rivera did it.
This had hardly been a problem for the Phillies over the first two months of the season. Before Friday, Phillies starters had pitched at least five innings in 54 of 58 games (even counting Cole Hamels' rain-shortened start of two-thirds of an inning on June 1).
The bullpen entered the weekend with the fewest innings in the majors. In the last two games, they've been taxed harder than at any point in 2010.
Having an off-day Monday helps. But the Yankees, notorious for working counts and going deep into the opponent's bullpen, loom beginning Tuesday.
Manuel said that both J.C. Romero and Jose Contreras, who each pitched an inning in Saturday's 10-2 blowout loss, should be available for Sunday.
Righthander Chad Durbin likely will not be after throwing two innings. And righthander David Herndon threw 49 pitches Friday in a career-high 32/3 innings. Fifth starter Kyle Kendrick was able to pitch in relief Friday because he's getting an extra day of rest before his next start, Wednesday in New York. If it wasn't for that, the Phillies could be in worse shape.
But if Hamels, Sunday's starter, can't stay in the game, the Phillies could still be in trouble.
"The last two days we've definitely stretched our pitching," Manuel said. "We'll see. We need for Cole to go a little deeper in the game."
Third baseman Placido Polanco was out of the lineup Saturday with an illness, Manuel said. Greg Dobbs replaced Polanco at third and went 1 for 3 to raise his batting average to .143.
Manuel said doctors told him Polanco's illness could be diagnosed a variety of ways, and he did not elaborate. He said he did not know if Polanco could play Sunday.
Polanco is the only Phillies regular still hitting above .300. His average stands at .316.
In games Polanco has not started, the Phillies are 3-7 in 2010.
Manuel had rightfielder Jayson Werth bat second, Polanco's normal spot, for the first time this season. It didn't help him snap his bad streak. Werth was 0 for 3 with a walk.
The last time the Phillies allowed double-digit runs in back-to-back games was April 8-10, 2009. . . . Backup catcher Brian Schneider started and had three hits, a season high. It was the first time since June 24, 2008, that Schneider had that many hits in a game. He raised his 2010 batting average to .303. . . . Wilson Valdez hit into a double play in the seventh inning, his 11th in 102 plate appearances this season. He leads the team in that category. . . . Lefthander J.A. Happ (strained left forearm) will make his second rehab start Sunday for double-A Reading. . . . The Phillies will face knuckleballer Tim Wakefield for the second time this season on Sunday. Wakefield pitched eight scoreless innings at Citizens Bank Park on May 23.