• July 6, 2022

Bullpen Spoils Utley’s Dramatic Return

Chase Utley’s return to the major leagues was a smashing success.

The second baseman made his long awaited return to Charlie Manuel’s lineup on Wednesday night, and made an instant impact by crushing a home run in his first at-bat of the season. Utley added two more singles to finish the game 3-5, and played a major role in the seven runs that the Philadelphia offense produced. The former All-Star said that he’s feels better than he has in some time, and is ready to make a serious impact the struggling ballclub. That was the good news.

The bad news is that the Phillies needed to fill a hole in the starting rotation after playing a doubleheader on Sunday (and no day off on Monday), and in lieu of calling up a spot-starter from the minor leagues, Charlie Manuel’s staff concluded that the best option was to ask one of baseball’s most undependable bullpens to throw all nine innings. Sure enough, the plan backfired and turned a winnable game into a loss.

Wednesday’s game fully displayed just how dreadful the Phillies’ bullpen really is. The group is unreliable at best, with literally half of its members unworthy of a spot on a major league roster. They finished Wednesday’s loss by giving up a collective 11 runs on 14 hits.

Raul Valdes got the call to start the game. The lefty pitched a clean first inning, but made a critical mistake in the top of the second. He hung  an 88 mph fastball over the plate to Pittsburgh’s Mike McKenry, who crushed a home run with two on and two out to give the Pirates the lead. Valdes elected to go after McKenry instead of pitching around him, and trying to get pitcher James McDonald, who was on deck.

Valdes was relieved by the ineffective Joe Savery, who went on to give up five runs in his 2.2 innings of work. The young lefthander managed to pitch a scoreless third inning, but the Pirates quickly caught up to him and knocked him around for five runs on five hits and two walks.

Michael Schwimer and Jake Diekman were able to stop the bleeding, and kept the Pirates off of the scoreboard in the sixth and seventh innings. And while the two young pitchers did their jobs, the offense rallied for five runs in the same two innings to make it an 8-7 game entering the eighth inning.

And then along came Chad Qualls. The veteran had been on a bit of roll as of late, having not allowed a run in his last nine appearances. However, it would seem that the only thing that such a streak meant was that the former Padre was overdue for an implosion. He destroyed any thoughts the Phillies had of completing a comeback last night by allowing three runs on three hits (including a two-run home run to Andrew McCutchen).

The way the bullpen has struggled this season, its been a miracle if Manuel can get two quality innings a night from them. The Phillies could have gotten away with a bullpen game a couple of years ago when they were stocked with reliable arms like Chan Ho Park, Chad Durbin, Scott Eyre, Ryan Madson, and Brad Lidge. But this is a completely different unit, and the cupboard is now bare. To expect this group to play a full nine innings and even keep the team in the game was a major stretch. By asking the bullpen to pitch an entire game, the Phillies sentenced themselves to a loss before they even took the field.


Denny Basens

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  • Good game stat wise. I really liked how the Savior, miraculously made the pitching staff, untouchable. AWESOME!!!! Like I said, wait a few games, when the adrenaline wears off, & his cranky knees start to swell & ache. What a waste. He isn’t even close to play everyday. Why couldn’t this jack@$$ do this earlier. He could of did the same thing. It’s a pain management thing, not an injury. SICKENING, that he wasted all this time. Absolutely gets in my crawl. 2 years in a row he destroyed this lineup.

  • Totally agree DCar. Dont get me wrong I was smiling ear to ear when he launched that HR but it doesn’t change the fact that he selfishly screwed us this year. It really chapped me up when he got that standing ovation, wooooooohooooooooo thanks for collecting those $576,923 checks every other week while you do nothing for the first 3 months of the season….

    I do think Chase will not miss anymore time this year and I do think he will play starting in May (at the latest) next year because this selfish prick wants to get another contract which is the reason he has been milking this knee thing to keep the wear down so he can get another contract.

  • Dude goes 3-5 with a HR and you are on here killing him.

    I don’t have to even be a fan of Utley to point out how ridiculous your post is DCAR. Are you on the Phils medical staff? Do you really think that he wasn’t doing whatever he could to get back on the field? What in Utley’s career would lead you to such a conclusion. When has he ever taken it easy? Was it when he continued to play with a lingering hip issue that he eventually had surgery for after the 2008 season? Did he ruin the team then? You guys are getting mad at a player saying he ruined the lineup because he gets injured? Just want to be clear.

    I also want to point out that it seems that you are both rooting for him to get injured.

    Have his skills declined? Absolutely, but he is still a much better option than Galvis, Martinez and Fontenot at 2B and he is s good clubhouse guy. Do you deny either of those things?

    You guys are both as bad as Vinnie with his Michael Vick thing.

  • Don’t know who Vinnie is but if he doesn’t like Vick then I agree with him. Vick blows and is a loser on the field and always has been. Vick off the field well…

  • Bugs, they are fair weather fans and know MORE than anyone about anything. They are never wrong because they are second guessers.
    Phil’s are in a deep hole so it’s easiest and safest to predict doom. Chances are they won’t make the playoffs so to say in June that they stink and are done is pretty cowardice. To blame people is simple. It’s sports things happen, but they don’t know that.

  • Can you read cigar? I have not said nothing fair weather at all nor all knowing at all. I have not said they won’t make the playoffs, said they stink, or said they are done. What I have said is I think Utley is a selfish jerk off and only cares about his next contract.

    I watch the Phils every game and root for them every game. I think they will be right back in the mix next year for another run. They could still do it this year but I think the next 9 games after today are incredibly crucial, anything less than 5-4 and I will think they are totally done.

  • So cigar rather than be a scum bag and talk trash on people opinions learn how to read and comprehend words before making yourself look like an illiterate, pompous, jerkoff scumbag

  • Mhenski- I would just like you to explain how he screwed the team this year?

  • I don’t think I said he screwed the team on this thread, but anyways I think he did screw with the team:

    It has been reported that he has little or no cartilage in his knees, cartilage doesn’t grow back without microfracture surgery (which doesnt guarentee it) but he refused this treatment.

    So by him not getting the surgery done, he has chosen to play through pain for the rest of his career and he made that decision last year.

    So fast forward to this year, why did he could he not play through pain all of a sudden? He did it last year so he should have been able to continue to do so this year, unless of course he did not work out in the offseason. Anyways he led everyone to believe he would be ready day 1. Then what happened HE DECIDED that he could not play through the pain, a Doctor did not say no you have to heal, HE DECIDED this. So now come June 27 all of a sudden he says now I can play through pain. It is a joke, the pain is no more or less than it was in April, then it was last year it is the same pain….

    Anyways if he would have been upfront and said Reub I am not gonna be able play through pain until the last week of June our GM who gives this team every piece they need every year would’ve got a 2nd baseman to hold the fort (Theriott?) or maybe got Ramirez instead of Paps and had Poly go to 2nd?… You get the picture.

    Utley decided to selfishly say LATE in spring training you know what Charlie, Reub… I can’t play through this pain right now… He should have manned up and played through it, its not like the pain goes away…

    Hey I am by no means a no it all, I do have strong opinions, so if you could articulate to me how he did not screw with the team I am all ears because I always liked Chase and don’t want to think he is a selfish prick

  • bugs, & haveaclue, the PR man, I used to love Utley. Everybody treats this guy like he is the Messiah. It’s nauseating. He hasn’t been himself, since 2009. Since I’m falsely accused/ labled as a fair weather/ bandwagon fan, & don’t know what I’m talking about, tell me where I have been wrong, other than you not liking, THE FACTS & CRITICISMS, that I’ve stated about this team?!? This team is full of OLD players- FACT! This teams BP is the worst BP, that we have had, in a long time- FACT! This team is full of journeymen, platoon players, & marginal MLB players- FACT! We one of the most undisciplined & bad fundamentally talented teams, at both at bats & in the field- FACT! This team is devoid of good young roster players, in the entire organization- FACT! This team has declined in both results & skillwise, while the payroll, since Amaro has taken over- FACT! Amaro has done nothing but give inflated, ill-advised & too long of length of contracts/ extensions to hasbeens & players on the decline(Lidge, Blanton, Polanco, Rollins, Qualls, Thome, Contreras, Papelbon, etc)- FACT! Amaro gave Howard an unwarranted, unwise, contract, when he still had 2 years left on his original contract- FACT! Amaro FAILED, to see the signs of a declining, aging, injury prone roster & bring in young, quality, future replacements, since he took over- FACT! Amaro did a miserable job fielding this years team, KNOWING HE HAD MAJOR????? at 1b, 2b, SS, 3b, LF & the entire BP- FACT! Amaro made all of his stupid decisions, based on hope, false expectations & lack of foresight- FACT! Amaro made a MAJOR MISTAKE, trading Lee the 1st time, when we traded for Halladay- FACT! Lee was upset when it happened, & stated in a interview, that he would have excepted less then, with an extension – FACT! Amaro got back fringe prospects in return for AN ACE- FACT! After saying he had to trade him, because of payroll issues, then trading for Oswalt the same season, when we could have had Lee, & didn’t need Oswalt- FACT! Utley has been injury prone & on major decline, both in power & skill, since 2009- FACT! Utleys stubbornness, lack of honesty with his condition, & duty to his organization (Amaro said as much, in interviews), has killed this lineup, 2 years in a row- FACT! Utley gets overhyped, under criticised, & gets too many passes, compared to many other athletes, in this city- FACT! We have VERY LITTLE PAYROLL FLEXIBILITY & QUALITY TRADE CHIPS, to trade for, & fill all the holes we have- FACT! Our drafting, both in quality, & in success of signability, HAS BEEN HORRID, since Wade & Arbuckle left, THUS ZERO GOOD ORGANIZATIONAL YOUTH- FACT! ANY GM, could have gotten Halladay & Lee, with a team, coming off of 2 straight WS & 5 straight division wins- FACT! We have the 2nd highest payroll, the oldest team in the league- FACT! THE WINDOW HAS CLOSED- FACT! I LOVE THIS TEAM & CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE- FACT! SO WHERE AM I WRONG?!? WHERE AM I NEGATIVE?!? HOW DOES THAT MAKE ME A FAIR WEATHER/ BANDWAGON FAN?!? If you have the balls, to tell me that I don’t have the right, to be angry & frustrated, with this team, that I’m not a real fan, because I tell the truth, refuse to turn a blind eye & wave pom- poms, you can GO F^#@ YOURSELF!!!! YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW THIS HURTS ME! So HAVEACLUE, take your false labels, delusions, cluelessness, pompous attitude, blind, thoughtless, mindless, brainless, thought process, zombie, stepford, pom-pom waving & go get hooked on phonics, do some reseach, & fact finding, before you stupidly label me!!!! Try watching sports, honestly, with YOUR EYES & YOUR BRAIN (IF YOU HAVE one), not your heart & flawed thought process!

  • Dcar many of your facts are not facts at all man.

  • REALLY?!? Tell me which ones mh? Everthing I’ve stated happened & could/ should have been avoided! Where am I wrong?

  • Your facts OPINIONS.

  • ******** = my response/where I disagree/ my opinion


    This team is full of journeymen, platoon players, & marginal MLB players-FACT
    ****** Our starting lineup (when taking away injuries is great) All stars everywhere (1b, 2b, 3b, SS, C (hopefully this year), CF, RF (pence does suck though). We have a great bench IMO if they didn’t have to be starters (injuries suck)

    We one of the most undisciplined & bad fundamentally talented teams, at both at bats & in the field- FACT!
    ***** Not in the field- Victorino #1 fielding CF in MLB, Galvis was #2 fielding 2b in MLB, Poly is #1 fielding 3b in MLB, JRoll #3 fielding SS in NL (11th in MLB), Pierre 7th LF in fielding in MLB, Catcher – Chooooch enough said, RF pence blows. As a team they have a fielding % of .984 thats .004 % away from 1st in MLB. IMO Pretty damn good when you are playing with a backup 1B and at times 2nd, 3rd & 4th string 2b.

    On the offense phils are 10th in runs in MLB, 3rd in hits in MLB, 6th in batting ave. Pretty damn good with no Chase & Howard

    This team has declined in both results & skillwise, while the payroll, since Amaro has taken over- FACT!

    ******Skillwise I dont think so they are still putting up nice numbers all the way around, this can be argued though with respect to Utley. But I see Chooch getting way better, Howard still a stud, Jimmy has not regressed and is stable same with Poly, Pence (blah), LF Blows we found out Mayberry was fools gold and will be replaced in the offseason… I dont see skill erosion.

    Result wise I think we are coming off a season where we won over 100 games for the 3rd time in Phils history. Can’t win a world series every year.

    I think the future is very bright next year for the Phils if we can get over the injury bug, get some relief help.

    Amaro has done nothing but give inflated, ill-advised & too long of length of contracts/ extensions to hasbeens & players on the decline(Lidge, Blanton, Polanco, Rollins, Qualls, Thome, Contreras, Papelbon, etc)- FACT!
    ***** I could be wrong here but I did not think Amaro signed Blanton? Lidge I thought got an appropriate contract, Qualls agreed, Rollins couldnt get a better SS than him, Thome ( I thought bad signing but 1 mill for 1 year, no biggie), Contreras I guess, Paps guy is top 5 closer in the game at least no harm there. Amaro also got you Pence (many like not me, but better than the alternative – having an outfield of mayberry, pierre, & vic), doc & lee

    Amaro gave Howard an unwarranted, unwise, contract, when he still had 2 years left on his original contract- FACT!
    ******* Howard earned that contract by being patient in the minors while waiting for Thome to leave and by his results on the field. When you compare Howards contract with Fielders and other players with similar skillsets Phillies ripped off Howard IMO.

    Amaro FAILED, to see the signs of a declining, aging, injury prone roster & bring in young, quality, future replacements, since he took over- FACT!
    *****Young studs dont grow on trees. nobody better than JRoll out there, he was assured Chase was good to go, cant do anything with Poly till his contract runs out. Not sure who else you may be talking about. You want a young club? Youngest clubs are KC, Hou, Oak, Wash, Minn, Cleve, Cubs, Sea, San Diego & Detroit (1 good team there). Again I think the future is still bright.

    Amaro did a miserable job fielding this years team, KNOWING HE HAD MAJOR????? at 1b, 2b, SS, 3b, LF & the entire BP- FACT!
    ******** 1b I thought he did good he got Wigginton and Thome to whether the storm till Howard comes back. Not like he could sign Pujols or Fielder to whether the storm, what should he have done?
    2b when your all star 2b tells you he is good for opening day what are you supposed to do ?
    SS he signed the best SS available JRoll (yes I would take him over Reyes, crazy maybe but the guy is a showboating loser who is always hurt)
    3b you are paying poly nothing you can do
    LF he tried to manage his payroll and thought Mayberry was legit (mostly everyone did) and he got Pierre it case that plan bombed, good job IMO there.
    BP Stutes really hurts, also it hurts that KK had to get removed from middle relief to start. BP is always a crap shoot anyways.

    Amaro made a MAJOR MISTAKE, trading Lee the 1st time, when we traded for Halladay- FACT!
    *******When you get Doc & Lee goes, hard to argue that being a mistake. I actually loved the deal traded and “ace” for the best ACE in MLB and got some prospects only to resign the “ace” a few months later.

    ANY GM, could have gotten Halladay & Lee, with a team, coming off of 2 straight WS & 5 straight division wins- FACT!
    ****Technicality here but 80+% of MLB teams could not afford to do that.

    ******I dont think your window will ever close when you can afford $150 million payroll every year, you retool. I think they are in great shape next year. This team has a lot of ball left in them and some pieces will move (maybe Vic, maybe Pence, maybe Poly) but this organization will compete for it all every year for quite some time.

    All just my opinions. I feel your pain though DCar, it has been a brutal year to be a fan, see all the injuries and see the bats do their job then the BP blow, starters do their job BP blows it, starters and BP does their job and bats fail…. Lots of reasons for optimism. Blaming Reub is not the answer IMO. Bad luck this year it happens

  • Your comments MEANINGLESS. Everything I’ve stated is FACT, you f^#@ing, irrational, unreasonable, nitwit! BTW, how do you like that Championship roster, out there today? What’s the matter, your Mfalse Messiah can’t play 2 in a row? Well, he shouldn’t be playing at all. It’s embarrassing & unacceptable! If that’s what you are waving pom- poms at, YOU ARE PATHETIC!!!!!

  • Phitin’s News***
    Chad Qualls has been designated for assignment down to Lehigh ..Woo Hoo

  • mh, you’re wrong. Everything you speak is past tense. Were All Stars, were good, were young, were healthy. Not anymore. They are very undisciplined, strikeouts, bad pitch selection. Tops in hit don’t mean $#!T, if you lead the league with RLOB & RISP! Declined in RESULTS & SKILLWISE, since WS win, while payroll increased. 2008 WS WIN (Gillick)-2009 WS LOSS (Amaro)- 2010 NLCS LOSS- 2011 First round LOSS- 2012 Inevitable missing of the playoffs?!? While aging lineup, with sky rocketing payroll. Amaro resigned Blanton. No reason to give a 30 year old, declining, player, an extension, with 2 years left. STUPID BUSINESS! Rollins never should have been re-signed, to a 3 year contract, with Galvis ready & A. Ramirez in FA. Then Polanco could played 2b. AGAIN, STUPID BUSINESS, that lacks foresight. NO, young studs don’t grow on trees, but if you had a GM, that knew how to make trades for good prospects, & KNEW how to run a farm system, it would be better. Remember, when Arbuckle & Wade left, Amaro had alot of input in scouting, under Wade & Gillick. If Howard didn’t get the unwarranted extension, he would have a FA during his injury (Bad luck, I know). None the less, see prior. The window on this team, nucleus, & ERA has closed. ALL FACTS BROTHER, NOT MY OPINIONS! Yours were opinions. Sorry to break it to you.

  • paul, Savery too. Thank God! But the stiffs that replaced them, ain’t much better.

  • I heard that Mitch WIlliams,Kent Tekulve and Steve Bedrosian were all seen at the CLearwater,FL Airport at about 2pm and were picked up by GM Amaro’s Chaeuffer…

  • Whatever happened to Chan Ho-Park.. Is he still out there…

  • Take care DCar we can agree to disagree.

    I strongly disagree with your definitions of opinion and facts. But who knows who is right I was a business major not a english major.

    Remember this though – when you got a payroll budget like we do your window is never ever closed. You reload

  • To again reiterate, I don’t think that Utley is the messiah. I don’t think that him coming back will save the season on its own. Not sure if it can be saved, but I am excited that he came back and I think that he can contribute even without cartilage.

    He is not the sole cause of the team being where they are just like he won’t be the sole cause of them making a run (if they do).

  • I am also changing my opinion on J-Roll.

    Splits for June:
    .324, 6 HRs, 9 doubles, 20runs, 16 RBI- only swiped a couple bags this month is the only knock against him.

  • J-Ro has been on fire for a few weeks now, him and Chooch (all season) and
    even Polanco has been hitting well.. Victorino is really the only regular strugling and Pence has come up small on many RBI attempts..

  • SInce J-Ro has hit lots of Extra Base Hits the last monrh, J-Ro hasn’t been in postion to steal many bases when you think about it..

  • Jimmy has played alot better since his daughter was born. I’ll give him that. Still takes too many bad at bats, leaves too many men on base (like the rest of the team). But other than him being re-signed, he is the least of our problems. 0-10 again today, with runners left in scoring position. Not for nothing, I was all in for the Pence trade last year, but this dude is absolutely horrendous. Worst, fundamental hitter, that I’ve seen in a long time. Doesn’t adjust his approach at the plate, swings at EVERYTHING, & is an absolute BUTCHER, in the field. I might be inclined to trade him too, if we can get back, a good haul. But I HAVE ZERO, confidence in Amaro doing anything to make this team better. HE NEEDS TO GO, NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Title is ‘Bullpen Spoil Utley Debut’.

    Phils bullpen the sh*t pit; cost them maybe 10 games this year, easy.

    Blame Amaro for that.

  • I stated in Febuary, that he Phils had perhas the Weakest Bullpen top to Bottom in the NL East.. 70% of all ballgames are Won or Lost from the 7th to 9th Innings and the Phils rank way near the bottom of MLB in games lost from the 7th on.. They deserve their basement status for they are not a very good team in 2012.. I think they are 0-3 since the “Messiah” returned.. Another goosd outing by Cliff Lee whose trade VAlue keeps declining with every Start.. Keep dreaming Phitin’s fans but thte dog days are already here

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