“We don’t even need a bullpen!” we laughed during the offseason. “All of these aces will protect us!” Then we offered each other cheers and drained goblets of wolves’ blood.
Those were good times, right? We could chuckle at ridiculous assumptions while at the back of minds secretly hope they were true. Then the season started and we had to face the reality of having some of the best starters in baseball, no matter how many other people try to tell us there are better ones. This was one of those rare occurrences where you come out of the fantasy and its only slightly different than reality (except for Oswalt’s back, Hamels’ hand, and there’s no cement mixer churning soft serve ice cream through my bedroom window).
Now that the aches, pains, and terrifying line drives of the regular season have started to wear on us, its clear we may need some reinforcements, namely in the bullpen. Not because we face a complete lack of quality, but just the sheer number of pitchers who can’t jog out to the mound without giving up a triple.
But help is on the way. And his name is
Just watch. 8-12 rehab starts from now, Brad Lidge will be in the Phillies bullpen, possibly even being effective. Now, yes, that is a lot of rehab starts. But just keep in mind that Brad hasn’t pitched at all in 2011, and he may not even recall which muscles to flex while throwing. Eventually, you’d think all three of our closers will return, forcing Charlie Manuel to do the only rational things and pit all four (including Bastardo) against each other in a series of mind-games that span a decade.
Until then, all we can do is assume whoever is in the closer’s role will be great.