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News » Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2008-08-29

Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2008-08-29

Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2008-08-29
Back in January, and again in spring training, manager Charlie Manuel insisted that veteran reliever Tom Gordon was the most essential member of the Phillies' bullpen.

As it turns out, he may have been right.

Gordon, the 40-year-old setup man, is lost for the season with an elbow injury that still may require surgery, leaving right-handers Ryan Madson and Chad Durbin and lefty J.C. Romero to handle the seventh- and eighth-inning duty. Madson and Durbin combined to allow five runs in the eighth inning Thursday night to turn a three-run lead into a 6-4 loss against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Madson allowed a solo home run by pinch hitter Mike Fontenot and left a two-on, none-out jam for Durbin, who walked Derrek Lee before surrendering a grand slam by Aramis Ramirez.

"To think about how well (starter) Cole (Hamels) threw the ball, how well our guys swung the bats against (Cubs starter Ryan) Dempster, this is a tough one," a despondent Durbin said.

Manuel, though, has little choice but to continue leaning on Durbin and Madson.

"They have the talent to pitch there," said Manuel, who considered leaving Hamels in the game but believed he was "spent" after 108 pitches. "It's just a matter of being consistent and doing the job and feeling good about themselves.

"We have a tremendous bullpen. The thing that bothers me is we're asking Durbin and Madson to be consistent in the eighth inning for us at times, and I don't know if that's fair. People say, 'What's the difference?' But that's like closing the game in a way. It does make a difference, and it's new.

"That's the thing about Gordon. He had experience as a closer and a setup guy. I think they can do it, but it definitely shows up. Once they get a little more comfortable in that role, I think they're going to be fine."

CUBS 6, PHILLIES 4: Cole Hamels tossed seven solid innings, but the bullpen blew a three-run lead Thursday in the opener of a four-game series at Wrigley Field. Hamels allowed one run on five hits and threw 108 pitches in seven innings before Ryan Madson and Chad Durbin combined to surrender five eighth-inning runs on a solo homer by Mike Fontenot and a grand slam by Aramis Ramirez.

The Phillies lost their second consecutive game and fell to one game behind the idle first-place Mets in the NL East. Chase Utley went 3-for-5, and Jayson Werth notched two hits for the Phillies.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: August 29, 2008

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