Romero puts struggles on poor command
Phillies' premier left-hander not producing desired results
NEW YORK -- Phillies left-handed reliever J.C. Romero said his command has been off in his past few outings, and it's resulted in some poor results -- including Saturday's key two-run double by the Mets' Ike Davis in the seventh inning.
Romero was brought in trying to preserve Philadelphia's two-run lead with the bases loaded and two outs. But Davis singled up the middle on a 3-1 fastball, garnering the two runs that ended up as the difference in the Phillies' 4-3 loss.
Romero gave up a single to the next batter he faced before being pulled.
"Lately, it seems like I've lost a little bit of my command," Romero said. "I felt that my first couple pitches I was a little timid, but then I started being aggressive. It just happened that a ground ball up the middle, a jam shot -- there's nothing I can do about that."
Davis has hit well (.314 average) against left-handers this season. But Romero has now gone three consecutive appearances without retiring a batter -- a career-long -- and he has issued 26 walks in 32 innings this season. Though his ERA remains at 3.66, those aren't the results the Phillies are expecting from their premier left-handed option out of the bullpen.
"I don't know if he's not trusting his stuff or not," said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. "It looks to me like everything's down or way in on lefties. I don't know. We need J.C. to pitch good for us."
Philadelphia has two other left-handed relievers, Antonio Bastardo and Mike Zagurski. Both are young and largely untested, and Bastardo has allowed six runs in his past 10 appearances.
Phillies call up Bocock for infield insurance
NEW YORK -- The Phillies called up infielder Brian Bocock from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Sunday, an indication that shortstop Jimmy Rollins may have to miss more time than originally expected with a tight right hamstring.
Rollins was out of the lineup for a third consecutive game Sunday and manager Charlie Manuel said he still considers him day-to-day. Rollins injured the leg running out a double against the Marlins on Wednesday.
Bocock arrives as added insurance for Philadelphia's already thin infield, which previously had only one utility player -- Greg Dobbs -- available on its bench.
On Saturday, Dobbs was used as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning. In the ninth, trailing by a run with the tying run on second base, Manuel had few options to pinch-hit for shortstop Wilson Valdez. If he had brought in catcher Carlos Ruiz in that situation, and Ruiz delivered with a hit, he likely would've had to play third base and bumped Placido Polanco or Chase Utley to shortstop.
Ruiz was originally signed by the Phillies as an infielder, yet that was a scenario Manuel did not want to see.
Rollins hasn't said anything about the injury other than a quick comment Saturday that it was feeling better. He has had two stints on the disabled list already this season, both for right calf injuries.
To make room for Brian Bocock on the 40-man roster, the Phillies designated reliever Cesar Carrillo for assignment. ... Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino has driven in a run in five consecutive games, a career high. ... With its 4-3 loss on Saturday, the Phillies snapped a string of four consecutive games in which they scored at least seven runs. The previous time they had scored that many runs in five consecutive games was 1980.
Zach Schonbrun is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.