For Phils, starting staff suddenly slumping
Cliff Lee remains winless, and his ERA in his last six starts is 4.87. Joe Blanton’s ERA is up to 5.04, and he’s allowed five or more earned runs in six of his last seven starts. Kyle Kendrick ranks 114th out of 130 pitchers who’ve started at least 10 games this year with a 5.29 ERA. Roy Halladay is on the disabled list. Vance Worley is pitching with bone chips in his throwing elbow.
For the first time in a long time, starting pitching -- and not offense -- is the Phillies’ biggest issue. The Phillies are actually now second in the National League in batting average at .266.
They’re scoring a lot of runs. They’re just giving up more.
Manager Charlie Manuel said Thursday night before the Phillies went for a sweep of their three-game series with the Rockies that despite all the issues with the rotation, this is most likely the group the Phillies will rely on the second half of the season.
Help is not on the way.
“Right now, I’d say it’s kind of [go with] what we got,” Manuel said. “If anyone starts going good down there [in the minors], and we feel like he can help us up here, I’m sure that would come into play. But I’d say right now, it’s kind of what we have.”
Cole Hamels is 10-3 with a 3.25 ERA, and Worley, who makes his fourth start since coming off the disabled list on Thursday night, is 3-3 with a 2.80.
After that, it’s been a rough go for the Phillies’ starters.
In April, Phillies starters had a composite 2.79 ERA. In May it jumped to 4.27. And so far in June, it’s skyrocketed to 5.17.
Phillies starters allowed five or more earned runs just three times the first 40 games of the season, but they’ve allowed five or more 14 times in 30 games since.
The top starter with the Triple-A IronPigs is 25-year-old Tyler Cloyd, who is 7-1 with a 2.37 ERA in 10 starts since a promotion from Double-A Reading, where he was 3-0 with a 1.80.
Also at Lehigh Valley is 36-year-old Scott Elarton, a one-time 17-gamer winner with the Astros who was out of baseball most of the 2009 through 2011 seasons. He’s 5-4 with a 4.48 in 14 starts.
But, at least for now, the Phillies will stick with what they have.E-mail Reuben Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org.