Power of Howard, Utley not enough for Phillies

Power of Howard, Utley not enough for Phillies

Power of Howard, Utley not enough for Phillies
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies got another look at their potential Tuesday -- good and bad -- at Citizens Bank Park.

Ryan Howard and Chase Utley provided the power, Vance Worley continued to struggle and the bullpen snapped its season-high 15-inning scoreless streak to help the New York Mets beat the Phillies in 10 innings, 9-5.

It also snapped the Phillies' winning streak at four games.

Howard hit a first-inning grand slam to give the Phillies a 4-1 lead, and Utley hit a solo home run in the fifth to give the Phillies a 5-4 lead.

Howard and Utley have helped stabilize the Phillies' lineup since they have returned from injuries, even if the overall results have not been there with a makeshift lineup. It is encouraging at the very least, although the trick will be keeping them on the field for six months next season. Howard is hitting .313 (15-for-48) with four doubles, two home runs and 11 RBIs in his past 12 games. Utley is batting .324 (12-for-37) with three doubles, one home run and five RBIs in his past 10 games.

But the Phillies' offense did nothing outside those two homers, managing just six hits for the night. The Phillies needed more Tuesday.

They certainly will need more next season.

The Phillies will need better from Worley, too. He allowed a two-run home run to Mike Baxter in the fourth inning and another run in the fifth to tie the game at 4. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel pulled Worley after just 60 pitches. Worley allowed nine hits, four runs and one home run while striking out four in just 4 1/3 innings.

He is 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA (18 earned runs in 24 innings) in his past five starts. He is 2-5 with a 5.80 ERA (38 earned runs in 59 innings) in his past 11 starts since July 3.

"I'm tired of losing," Worley said. "I need to do a better job out there. It all starts with me."

Of course, literally every time Worley pitches these days he is asked about his right elbow. He missed time earlier this season with inflammation and is pitching with a bone chip. Worley continued to say the elbow is not an issue.

"I'm not locating the way I need to," he said.

And the elbow's effect on this?

"Zero," he said. "Zero effect."

If that is true and the elbow is a non-issue, then Worley's recent performance is alarming. The Phillies are built on pitching and they need Worley to pitch better than he has. They would like to see him turn a corner before the end of the season.

"He tells me he's fine," Manuel said. "The trainers tell me he's fine. That's all I can go by. That's what I have to go by. That's what it is."

Manuel reiterated the Phillies have not thought about shutting down Worley for the season.

"We haven't considered that yet," he said. "But at the same time, I feel like we can do a lot of things."

A Phillies bullpen that has shown flashes of its potential showed some of it problems and caved in the late innings. Right-hander Josh Lindblom issued a leadoff walk to David Wright in the eighth, which led to left-hander Antonio Bastardo allowing the game-tying run. It snapped the bullpen's season-high scoreless streak at 15 innings. B.J. Rosenberg then allowed four runs in the blink of an eye in the 10th inning to take the loss.

Things got out of hand quickly in the 10th. After Rosenberg allowed a one-out single to Wright, he then gave up three consecutive run-scoring hits -- an RBI double to Ike Davis, an RBI single to Lucas Duda and then a towering two-run home run to left field to Kelly Shoppach.

"That wasn't a fun one," Rosenberg said. "For whatever reason, I didn't quite feel like myself. Everything was up. It's pretty simple -- you make really bad pitches to good hitters, and you're going to get in trouble. That's what I did. All I can do is try to bounce back and try to get to where I was throwing my last few outings and go from there."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.