TUG WOULD HAVE POPPED AN ADVIL AND PITCHED LAST SUNDAY

By Art Beitchman, DOCBLOG

Last Sunday the Phillies bullpen blew its eighth game of the young season, and it was particularly gut-wrenching. Cole Hamels pitched his first good game of the year, and the bullpen should have closed it off, no problem, but there was a problem.

The eighth-inning guy and the ninth-inning guy were nowhere to be found. Were they fatigued or sore? That’s unacceptable in my book — six weeks into a 162-game season and these pitchers are turning down the ball.

I know this is a different era, but this is still major league baseball, and these guys, set-up man Jake Diekman and big bucks closer Jonathon Papelbon shoud have popped a few Advils a half-hour before and saved a game the Phillies should have won. After a disastrous four-game sweep by the Blue Jays, taking three from the Mets would have taken some of the sting out. Instead, the Phils blew a 4-1 lead in the ninth and lost in extras 5-4.

The whole situation got me thinking back when Tug McGraw took the ball every time in the Phillies World Series run in 1980. He admitted his arm felt like it was falling off, but he took Tylenol to help him through the pain and eventual World Series victory.

That was an era long gone, and I guess the toughness and heart of Tug McGraw went with it.

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