Bull Market Bullpen

Matt ParidoContributor ISeptember 24, 2008

Here's the bad news:  the economy is flirting with collapse, the presidential race is up in the air (and focused on lipstick) and the sun is apparently losing its strength.  The good news?  The Phillies are close to another meaning October.  OK...I'll admit that I have prior issue.

The Phillies are so close to back-to-back playoff appearances that you can almost smell it.  They have done it by mashing the ball, getting decent starting pitching, stellar defense and BRAD LIDGE.

Lidge is the poster boy the for the 2008 Phillies bullpen and he very well should be.  In fact, he is probably the best closer in the National League.  But lets not for get that quite a happens on the way from a quality start to the 9th.  The Phillies have a relief corp that has been amazing this year.  At times some have been unhittable and others been pretty darn good.  Guys like Chad Durbin, Ryan Madson, Clay Condrey and JC Romero are one of the two biggest reasons they are on the brink.  The second, of course, is the manager.  Charlie Manuel and staff deserve a ton of credit with not only how they've used the bullpen,  but the confidence in which they use the bullpen (How many pitches did Johan Sananta throw Tuesday night?).  This component of the Phillies will be the difference maker over the next five games and possibly beyond.

So as the Mets try and deal with their bearish relievers, the Phillies can be glad that they invested wisely in the off-season.  It could turn-out to pay big divedends.