Bullpen Collapse Costs Philadelphia Phillies in Sweep to New York Mets
The Philadelphia Phillies suffered another low blow to their season, dropping three straight in a devastating series against the New York Mets, the second straight interdivision series the Phillies have dropped.
What This Means: The Phillies continue to dwell in the cellar of the NL East, five games back of the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves. The Phillies lost consecutive series to NL East rivals, dropping five of six overall.
Grading the Offense: The Phillies scored 12 runs and collected 33 hits, putting forth another solid enough offensive series that was overcome by a treacherous bullpen. Hunter Pence continues to improve following an awful April, as he is up to seven home runs now and is doing a promising enough job in the cleanup spot. Freddy Galvis had a game for the ages on Wednesday night, collecting a single, double, and triple, plus three RBIs, and Pete Orr has shown promising power in limited time this season. Still, the core of the lineup – Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, and Placido Polanco – still continues to struggle. Grade: C+
Grading the Pitching: Roy Halladay, Joe Blanton, and Cliff Lee all posted respectable outings, combining for a 3.66 ERA with 20 strikeouts to just five walks in 19.2 innings pitched. It was the bullpen that was absolutely disastrous, as the unit went 0-3 in the series, posting a 11.46 ERA plus 13 hits allowed and six walks in just 7.1 innings pitched. The bullpen is costing the Phillies game by game, and something needs to change immediately. Jonathan Papelbon let up a three-run home run in the first contest, then Chad Qualls and Michael Schwimer gave the second game away, and Kyle Kendrick was absolutely rocked in a brief outing tonight. Grade: D
What’s Next: The Phillies get a day off before hosting the San Diego Padres in a three-game weekend series. Considering the Padres have just a .344 winning percentage, it is absolutely imperative that the Phillies take at least two of the three games.