Another day, another Phillies starter not named Roy Halladay can’t get past the sixth inning.
J.A. Happ threw 5.1 innings of work today, giving up an unearned run, and walking six. One thing that the Phillies offense has been superb at during the early season is getting the opposing starters out of the game early. Unfortunately, that has an obvious problem for their own starters as well.
Of the Phillies starters, only Halladay has been able to pitch more than six innings so far this season. While the Nats didn’t record an earned run against Happ, J.A. repeatedly got behind batters, worked deep into counts, and put men on base via a hit or a free pass. Hence, the early exit.
The issues with the starting pitching have been masked, until today, by the superb work done by the bullpen. Today, as mentioned, not so much. Baez took the loss today after he gave up 3 runs in the Top of the 7th to allow Washington to take a 5-4 lead. The Nat’s scored 2 more in the top of ninth off of Madson, to secure the win.
The problem with the amount of work the bullpen has received so far is that relief arms aren’t made to pitch as many innings as starters. Sooner or later, the ‘pen begins to tire and wear down – both over the course of single series and more so during the course of the season. The second, less obvious, issue with bullpen overuse is that familiar foes begin to pick up on the bullpen’s tendencies. This may not be an issue with a team like the Nat’s; however, when the Braves, Marlins, and Mets (yes, even the Mets) begin to see more of Baez, Durbin, Madson, and the crew, it can lead to bigger problems.
The good news is that according to the Blog of Family Research Council, UK scientists recently used cloning technology to create 3-parent human embryos. Ethical concerns aside, this is great news because the Phillies will soon be able to clone Roy Halladay so he can pitch every day.