PHILADELPHIA -- Use the closer or not?
The Phillies suffered consecutive walk-off losses this past weekend against the Pirates at PNC Park. The Phils kept Jonathan Papelbon in the bullpen both times. Some fans have asked why the Phillies would not pitch him, but the answer is simple: Charlie Manuel, Larry Bowa and every other current and former manager over the past 30 years prefer to pitch their closers in save situations.
Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said he considered pitching Papelbon in Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Pirates in 10 innings, but only because Papelbon had warmed up twice already and Dubee did not want to continue it.
(Remember Brad Lidge warming up numerous times during the 2008 All-Star Game. Not good.)
"How many times am I going to crank Pap up?" Dubee said.
Of course, the Phillies could have used Papelbon with two outs in the eighth inning in Sunday's 5-4 loss. They had a lead, so it would have been a save situation.
"It's a little early," Dubee said. "You want me to run him out there 162 games?"
Papelbon has pitched more than an inning in a save situation 39 times in his career. He has pitched one or fewer innings in a save situation 210 times.
Papelbon is 2-1 with a 2.09 ERA and 31 saves (79.5 percent) when he pitches more than an inning. He is 2-11 with a 2.52 ERA and 189 saves (90 percent) when he pitches one or fewer innings.
Papelbon pitched the ninth inning in Monday's 6-2 loss to Miami. He entered to Alice in Chains' "Man in the Box." He had used Dropkick Murphys' "Shipping Up to Boston" with the Red Sox.
Galvis gets elusive first career hit
PHILADELPHIA -- Freddy Galvis took a nice deep breath as he stood on second base.
Galvis snapped an 0-for-12 start to his big league career Monday, when he doubled to left-center field in a 6-2 loss to the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. The double scored the game's lone runs for the Phillies, who have been struggling to score in the season's first four games.
"As soon as I got to second, I could breathe," Galvis said. "I was feeling much better. After the second game, I was like, 'Wow, when am I going to get it?'"
The double ensured Galvis would not creep any closer to the franchise record for the longest hitless streak to start a big league career. Lonnie Smith (1978-79), Jim Essian (1973-74) and Pancho Herrera (1958) started their careers 0-for-18, according to Baseball Reference.
Galvis has received plenty of attention in the season's first four games. First off, he is replacing Chase Utley at second base. Second, he went hitless in his team's first three games. That caused some overanalysis, suggesting an improved No. 8 hitter could solve the entire team's offensive woes.
Galvis was happy Phillies manager Charlie Manuel did not pinch-hit for him in the seventh. He certainly could have.
"I had the same situation in Venezuela and the manager took me out of the game," Galvis said. "It was like, 'Oh, not good.' But Charlie, he let me hit. I was feeling good."
Said Manuel: "I wanted to show him I had confidence in him. Freddy is going to be a good ballplayer. I like Freddy. I like Freddy a lot. He's going to be fine. What? Because he went 0-for-10 or something, I'm going to send a message that I don't think he can hit? I don't think so."
Hamels endures another tough opening start
PHILADELPHIA -- If only Cole Hamels could just skip to the second start of the season.
The lefty allowed eight hits, four runs (three earned) and struck out nine in 5 1/3 innings in Monday's 6-2 loss to the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. Hamels actually had better stuff than his line indicated, but he put four leadoff hitters on base, and all four scored. He is 1-4 with a 5.97 ERA in his past six season-opening starts.
"I felt like my stuff was really good," he said. "I was able to hit my spots early, and later I felt like all four pitches were working really well. Unfortunately, I think there were a few pitches that got away."
And one throw.
Emilio Bonifacio dropped a bunt in front of the mound in the sixth inning. Hamels picked up the ball, spun and fired to first base -- except nobody was there. First baseman John Mayberry Jr. was supposed to back off the play and head to first to take the throw, but he could not get back in time. Second baseman Freddy Galvis was too far away to get to the base in time.
"It's something that we work on in Spring Training," Hamels said. "When you have a fast runner, you go down, grab it with your bare hand and turn and fire. Unfortunately, there was nobody there, so you can't really do much about it. But I thought I did everything we were taught to do in Spring Training."
Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard is scheduled to see foot and ankle specialist Mark Myerson on Tuesday in Baltimore. Howard is hoping to get the OK to step up his rehab following complications from left Achilles surgery. Howard participated in fielding practice Monday.
Phillies right-hander Chad Qualls said he could have pitched Monday despite some soreness in his right heel. Qualls, who was warming up in the bullpen in the ninth inning, was unavailable to pitch Sunday because of the discomfort. He left the ballpark feeling better.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.