The phrase “No lead is safe” typically means that the opposition has an impressive lineup. In the case of the Philadelphia Phillies, it is a warning to the fanbase about a bullpen that is akin to pouring petrol on a raging dumpster fire.
That continued to be the case on Friday. Ian Kennedy came on to preserve a 4-2 lead, and two batters later, had blown the save. This was the Phillies’ 26th blown save of the year, setting a new franchise record.
Philadelphia Phillies have record setting bullpen
Kennedy was supposed to solve the Phillies’ bullpen woes. He had been a solid option in the ninth inning for the Rangers, posting a 2.51 ERA and a 1.052 WHiP over his 32.1 innings, notching 16 saves. It was not a surprise that Kennedy was in demand at the deadline.
But adding relievers to the Phillies’ bullpen is the baseball equivalent of re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Kennedy has been the latest reliever to fall victim to whatever curse is over the bullpen, as he has also been a disaster. Prior to his outing on Friday, he had posted a 5.63 ERA and a 1.500 WHiP in his eight innings with the Phillies.
Somehow, he had actually been perfect in his save opportunities prior to Friday night. But considering that he was walking such a tightrope thus far in Philadelphia, it was a matter of time before he fell. When he did, he set a new team record.
And this number is certain to climb even higher. The Phillies bullpen shows no signs of slowing down, even with a month left to go in the season. It is highly probable that the Phillies number of blown saves will get into the 30s, as their bullpen woes have again torpedoed another season.
Ian Kennedy helped the Philadelphia Phillies bullpen make history on Friday night. It just was not the type of history they wanted to make.