It's far from an opportune time for the eighth-inning stalwart and No. 1 reliever against left-handed hitters to be struggling. Bastardo has allowed four earned runs in six appearances this month. To put that in perspective, before that he allowed eight earned runs the entire season.
"He's having trouble with command, and he's not really busting the ball or turning it loose," manager Charlie Manuel said.
Manuel had predicted trouble for the young reliever earlier this season because he does not have the experience of pitching this deep in a season.
But Manuel wasn't too concerned after Thursday afternoon's 3-1 victory. Bastardo entered the game in the eighth, faced three batters, induced a flyout to deep center, and allowed a double and walk before being replaced by Brad Lidge.
"It can be very tough at times, because a lot of times, you don't know what adjustments you need to make, and a lot of times you don't need to make any," Lidge said. "But you don't know that, because you haven't been through it before."