The Phillies bullpen has had its share of problems all year, but this past week has been particularly bad. Set-up man Mike Adams was placed on the disabled list with bicep tendinitis yesterday after having allowed runs in three of his previous six appearances. The Phillies had hoped to avoid having to put him on the DL, so they took it easy with him for a couple days, but they saw no improvement. Chris Branch reports that Adams will seek a second opinion with Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the doctor who performed surgery on Roy Halladay’s right shoulder.
Meanwhile, Mike Stutes has also been placed on the disabled list with bicep tendinitis. He had allowed four runs in two out of his three most recent appearances. Following Saturday’s outing, he could be seen in the dugout pointing at his arm, ostensibly identifying discomfort, but he insisted to the media he was fine. Phillippe Aumont has been promoted to fill the roster spot vacated by Stutes.
It’s been a bad week for the Phillies, who have also seen closer Jonathan Papelbon blow three out of his four latest save opportunities. They have baseball’s worst bullpen ERA at 4.67.
I just saw Jay Jaffe of FanGraphs refer to this as “BryceGhazi” and we’re not gonna top that, so we shouldn’t even try.
The controversy: Bryce Harper, in defeating Kyle Schwarber in the Home Run Derby last night, didn’t follow the rules. Or else his dad, who was pitching to him didn’t. The rule in question is that the pitcher has to wait for the last hit ball to land before delivering the next one. Given that the Derby is a timed event, such a thing matters, of course, because the faster you get pitches the faster you can hit them out of the park. At least if you don’t get too tired first.
Harper’s dad was a bit quick with the final three pitches in the final round, allowing Harper to get to 18, tying Kyle Schwarber before winning it outright with his 30 seconds bonus time. Watch as Harper waves for his dad to deliver the pitch while the last ball is still flying:
I’m not gonna argue that he didn’t do it. I will say, however, that no one should really care. Mostly because it’s the Home Run Derby and it doesn’t matter a bit. Getting mad about this is a half-step removed from getting mad that Blackjack Mulligan used a foreign object to gouge Pedro Morales’ eyes during a house show in 1976. Yes, it’s true, but c’mon, we’re entertaining people here.
I have not seen any suggestion that Kyle Schwarber is upset, but if he later says he is I’ll simultaneously understand yet still roll my eyes. I doubt MLB will do anything here or issue a statement of any kind. If it does, I’ll roll my eyes harder. Because, I repeat: It’s the Home Run Derby.