There is a scene in the movie “The Untouchables,” where Sean Connery berates Andy Garcia for bringing a knife to a gun fight, an obvious mismatch in firepower for any number of reasons. The reason I open with that is because the Phillies are set to open up a three game set with the Boston Red Sox – probably the best team in the Majors - on Tuesday night, and are quite clearly underarmed, especially in light of the news that Ryan Madson will be taking a trip to the 15-day disabled list, thanks to a hand injury.
CUT TO: TODD ZOLECKI
Madson injured his hand May 20 when a ball struck him during a game with the Texas Rangers. He continued to pitch, but complained of pain on occasion. He received a cortisone injection Friday.
The good news about this is that Madson hasn’t pitched in about a week or so, so he would be eligible to return from the disabled list next week if all goes well. The bad news is that the Phillies’ bullpen, which has been as good as any this season (albeit thin), is new reliant on two arms – Michael Stutes and Antonio Bastardo – when the going gets tough in the late innings. Although Madson’s replacement, RHP Andrew Carpenter, was having a nice season for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (1.58 ERA, 10.1 K/9 in 45.2 innings pitched as a reliever), a power arm he is not.
Madson is now the third Phillies closer to hit the DL this season, joining both Jose Contreras and Brad Lidge, who are currently rehabbing their injuries. Hazard pay, anyone?
It will be interesting to see how Charlie Manuel uses his starters this series, given that the high powered Red Sox offense is known for working pitchers early and often, which usually leads to premature exits and heavy lifting from the bullpen. The Phillies are fortunate that the schedule falls in such a way that they can send both Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels to the mound for games one and three, respectively.
Hopefully, Madson will be back on his feet sooner rather than later. Until then, let us hope that the rest of the arms in the ‘pen catch a case of strike-em-out-itus.