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Phillies lose three out of four to woeful Astros

Sep 16, 2012, 5:38 PM EDT

Tyler Greene, Jimmy Rollins Getty Images

So much for the Phillies’ big surge. The Philadelphia bullpen blew a 4-3 lead Sunday in a 7-6 loss to Astros, giving Houston a rare series win.

Antonio Bastardo took the loss in relief of Roy Halladay, though the blame more squarely rests on the broad shoulders of rookie Phillippe Aumont. The Astros scored four times in the seventh with a rally that started on a Michael Martinez error. Bastardo left with two on, one out and the 4-3 lead still intact. Aumont followed by giving up a walk, a two-run double and a two-run single to the only three hitters he faced, making it 7-4 Houston.

The Phillies came back with two runs on a Domonic Brown double in the top of the eighth, but it wasn’t enough.

Setup relief was the Phillies’ Achilles heel early this season, but it’s been much better in the second half, as the team has largely been successful in maintaining leads in front of Jonathan Papelbon. Today’s misstep was Aumont’s second in a row. He allowed just one run over 8 1/3 innings in his first nine appearances for the Phillies, but he’s given up four runs in the last two. He took the loss in Thursday’s series opener.

Back under .500 at 73-74, the Phillies again look like extreme long shots for the second wild card spot. While they’ll be “only” four games back of either the Cards or Dodgers at the end of the day, they’re going to have four teams ahead of them in the standings.

  1. chew1985 - Sep 16, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    The Phillies are going nowhere until Charlie Manuel goes somewhere else. The only salvation in 2012 for this team is that they have kept the services of Cole Hamels for the long term.

  2. schlom - Sep 16, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    I applaud Manuel’s bullpen usage, sure you could your $11m a year closer instead of relying on untested rookies and lesser pitchers, but then who would get the save? Everyone knows the last three outs are the hardest to get. If Bastardo and Aumont gave up 4 in the 7th, how many would they have given up in the 9th? 8? 12?

  3. phillyphan83 - Sep 16, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    How in the world do you try to put this on Charlie??? Somebody can’t se the forest through the trees.

  4. amelson1228 - Sep 16, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    Ouch to the astros

  5. stex52 - Sep 16, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    At least for this week end, the Astros probably aren’t feeling so woeful. Sorry, Phils, but it’s on you to take care of business. They are somewhat better, but they are not suddenly a good team.

  6. therealtrenches - Sep 16, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    The only thing more pathetic than the Phillies dropping three of four to the ‘stros is the fact that the cardinals and dodgers *needed* the Phillies to lose to the ‘stros in order to keep their wild card bids secure. More pathetic than that is that the phillies are still alive, bc the cards and dodgers have been swooning all this time.

    This whole mess is hardly over, and the author’s desire to declare it as such says more about his desire to antagonize phillies fans than it does about the state of the pennant race.

  7. leftywildcat - Sep 16, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    The bullpen has seemed to be the bigger problem all season long than the injury list. Some of those relievers have been dreadful all year, and I don’t understand why Charlie keeps bringing them in.

    • mJankiewicz - Sep 17, 2012 at 1:25 AM

      Who else would he bring in? Sometimes you just gotta roll with the hand you are dealt. It’s not like their bullpen is terrible either. These guys just need to be a little more consistent and I feel like they can be as good as any pen in the league. That will come with more seasoning. I got excited about the Phils chances for about 2 days. But, it’s pretty clear it’s not their year.

  8. ddjesus - Sep 16, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    Golly, seems like it was yesterday, when I was being trashed on for even mentioning that hey, the brewers are looking pretty hot, after sweeping the braves. For even suggesting the brewers might finish ahead of the Phillies… who’s still above .500?

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