PHILADELPHIA -- Despite Antonio Bastardo's inconsistent performances this season, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is sticking with the left-handed reliever as his setup man. With a young bullpen that owns the second-worst ERA (4.84) in the Major Leagues entering Saturday, Manuel simply doesn't have many options.
"When he's good, he also shows me that he can get it done," Manuel said of Bastardo, who is 2-3 with a 5.34 ERA. "I'm leery to just kinda give up on him."
Bastardo's last two outings are a display of his inconsistencies.
In the eighth inning of Thursday's loss against the Mets, Bastardo retired the heart of New York's lineup -- David Wright, Scott Hairston and Lucas Duda -- in order to set up Jonathan Papelbon for the save.
Then on Friday against the Braves, he entered a scoreless game in the eighth inning and issued three walks, including one with the bases loaded, and allowed a grand slam to Brian McCann.
Pitching coach Rich Dubee doesn't think Bastardo's problem is anything mechanical, but rather his confidence on the mound.
"He gets the first guy out, he gets on a good roll," Dubee said on Saturday. "[He] doesn't get the first guy out, things are snowballing against him. A lot of it's confidence. [We] gotta get his head straight. His stuff's fine."