Bastardo gets first crack as Phils' closer job

Bastardo gets first crack as Phils' closer job

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo has never been a closer before.

He also had no idea Ryan Madson was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday before the start of a three-game series against the Red Sox.

Time to just roll with it.

"OK, I take the chance," Bastardo said. "I'm ready for that and see what happens."

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Bastardo will get the first crack at filling in for Madson, who is eligible to come off the disabled list July 4.

Michael Stutes is another candidate to pitch the ninth, depending if a right-handed matchup presents itself.

"They passed all the tests," Manuel said. "They deserve to get a chance."

Stutes has talked with Madson and Brad Lidge about preparing for the closer's role. He was told to block out the score and baserunners and zero in on getting the batter out.

"It's just like any other inning though," said Stutes, who had closed some for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. "Whether you get three outs in the ninth, three outs in the eighth, three outs in the seventh, it's still three outs."

Madson can only rest his bruised right hand. He received a cortisone shot on Friday, but fluids started running into his hand and affecting his nerves.

Manuel hoped to have him back by the Red Sox series.

Now, it'll be at least another week.

"I don't think that's going to kill us," Manuel said.