Bullpen Blowup Caps All-Around Ugly Showing

Bullpen Blowup Caps All-Around Ugly Showing

The Phillies really spread the blame around in the 2-1 loss on Tuesday night. Roy Oswalt actually pitched quite well given his circumstances, but the offense was once again abysmal, putting up one lone run, and that was due in large part to a laughable Cardinals' error on a Jimmy Rollins pop up in the eighth. We laughed at that folly, but it was the Cardinals who were laughing at the end of the night.

After the offense put up goose eggs for seven straight innings, Phillies fans were elated to see them scrap together a run in the eighth to tie things up, even if it was cheap and unearned.

This team needs any break it can get.

Unfortunately, the excitement of a potential late game comeback didn't last long as Danys Baez gave up three straight hits in the ninth to load the bases with no outs. Baez managed to work Holliday into a groundout before the ball was handed to JC Romero. It only took one pitch from the lefty for Lance Berkman to send Cardinals fans home happy.

Many of the commenters were livid at Charlie Manuel's decision to go with Baez over trusted sometimes-closer Ryan Madson. Leverage this, leverage that, the book says do this, the book says do that. I don't think you can kill Charlie all that much for opting to save Madson on the road, but you certainly can question it.

The complete lack of offense, defensive lapses from Ben Francisco in right and Dane Sardinha at the plate, and a Danys Baez/JC Romero blow up in the ninth did them in once again.

They return to Citizens Bank Park tomorrow to face the Rockies (weather permitting). Maybe some home cooking will help them find the long-lost offense?

Stutes Injured

Michael Stutes came in to relieve Roy Oswalt and left the game after only three pitches with a muscle strain in his back. As for the severity of the injury, reporters asked Stutes if he thought he'd miss any time.

Stutes had this to say, "I don’t know. I’ve never had an injury before. I guess we’ll figure it
out tomorrow. Hopefully it’s just a freak thing where I just strained
something and I’ll wake up tomorrow feeling good."

Former Phillies pitcher, Hall of Famer Jim Bunning dies at 85

Former Phillies pitcher, Hall of Famer Jim Bunning dies at 85

LOUISVILLE, Ky.-- Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning, who pitched six seasons with the Phillies and went on to serve in Congress, has died. He was 85.

Bunning's death was confirmed by Jon Deuser, who served as chief of staff when Bunning was in the Senate. Deuser said he was notified about the death by Bunning's family.

Bunning won 224 games in a 17-year major-league career and pitched the first perfect game in modern National League history. It came with the Phillies on June 21, 1964.

He became the first pitcher after 1900 to throw no-hitters in both the American and National Leagues.

He belonged to a rare group of major league pitchers to throw a perfect game in the modern era.

A Kentucky Republican, he was the only member of the Baseball Hall of Fame to serve in Congress. He served in both the House and Senate.

Today's Lineup: Cesar Hernandez (groin) returns

Today's Lineup: Cesar Hernandez (groin) returns

Cesar Hernandez returns to the Phillies' punchless lineup Saturday afternoon against the Reds (4 p.m./TCN).

Hernandez, who missed Friday night's 5-2 loss with a groin injury, is back at second base and leading off. Hernandez has led off in all 44 games he's started this season. The fifth-year pro has struggled after getting off to a torrid start. He's hitting just .185 (10 for 54) over his last 14 games.

After bouncing around the lineup, centerfielder Odubel Herrera returns to his customary spot in the two-hole. Herrera's season is a microcosm of the Phils' woeful offense. An All-Star in 2016, Herrera is hitting just .227 this season. Manager Pete Mackanin hopes the Venezuelan will hit his way out of it soon (see story).

Here is the rest of today's lineup:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Odubel Herrera, CF
3. Aaron Altherr, LF
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Michael Saunders, RF
6. Maikel Franco, 3B
7. Cameron Rupp, C
8. Freddy Galvis, SS
9. Jerad Eickhoff, P