Phillies Blog – Davey and The Statman Contributors - Phillies blog will feature renowned Sports Handicapper Davey Sharpe and his partner Mike the Statman.  Combined they operate a successful sports handicapping business together and are both lifelong Phillies fans.

Explanation Needed – ASAP

So someone really needs to explain this to me. 

The last time J. Papelbon was unavailable – was because he had pitched in 3 straight games.  Mind you, he only pitched 1 inning in each of those 3 game – but I suppose the latest MLB “bullpen protocol” is that these men cannot pitch in 3 straight games.  Which is ludicrous on its premise – but fine.  Whatever.

So yesterday – the Phillies are heading into the 9th inning with a very comfy 4-1 lead.  Cole Hamels had pitched a very good game through 7 – scattering 7 hits, only allowing 1 run, while striking out 10.  And he threw. . . ready for this?  He threw 133 pitches!!!!  133!!!!  That is the most thrown by a Phillie’s pitcher since 2004 (Eric Milton threw 134 in 2004).

Reliever Mario Hollands came in for the 8th and fought through some issues – but got out of the inning unscathed.

So the 9th inning comes – and I sit waiting for Papelbon to come in and wrap up a MUCH needed 3 game road sweep of the Mets.  And that doesn’t happen. 

Instead – in comes Antonio Bastardo – and I have heard recently that “Bastardo” is Spanish for “can’t pitch for crap”.  

He promptly proceeds to give up the game and the sweep.  I don’t want to get into the details of the inning – because it was very ugly to watch and I don’t want to relive it.  But I am 100% certain that I could have hit Bastardo yesterday. . . it was like he was pitching batting practice. 

Where was Papelbon?  He was not listed as injured.  There was no announcement that he was unavailable.  He did not pitch in 3 straight.   Yet he was not called in to do the job that the Phillies pay him 13 million dollars this year to do. 

So after Bastardo gets the hook – guess who comes in?  Starter Roberto Hernandez.   So in short:

The pitcher who threw almost 100 pitches 2 nights ago was available to pitch – but – the pitcher whose job it is to perform this specific role – who threw 21 pitches in the past 2 nights -  was NOT available to pitch.  Seriously? 

Maybe he needed a day off?  Well they are off today.  And Thursday. 

That type of game management and bullpen management – in my opinion, is flatly unacceptable.  Papelbon’s contract is a 50 million dollar contract and he is having a good year.  So it’s the 9th inning and you have a 3 run lead – come in and CLOSE.  Little sore?  You have tomorrow off.  You are playing the Angels on Tuesday and Wednesday.  I can guarantee everyone reading this blog – that there will be no need for Papelbon to pitch both days, if at all. 

So the ONE game that he was needed – to get a nice road sweep against a NL East rival.  He didn’t pitch. 

And I read all the BS today – he needed a day off, he was a little sore, it’s just the daily grind.  Gimme a break.

The Phillies had 2 great games Fri and Sat, and Sunday saw Hamels with a very quality start against a team he usually struggles with.  Oh, and he was going for #100 as well.  And our 50 million dollar closer was “unavailable” for some mysterious reason.

Hey Sandberg – what you need is a “bullpen manager” and someone to tell you how NOT to give games away.  I am available.  Call me.  Soon.