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Phillies relievers trying to right the ship

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PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies' bullpen is not just allowing small deficits to get out of hand, but the team's relievers are allowing inherited runners to score at a staggering rate.

In 43 games, Phillies relievers have allowed 46.3 percent (25-of-54) of inherited runners to cross the plate. The only group of Major League relief pitchers since 1974 to have a worse mark throughout an entire season was the Reds' bullpen in 1977, which permitted 48.1 percent (74-of-154) of inherited runners to score.

"I have a big concern about our bullpen," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Saturday. "If we can't hold people, how can we win the game? You can say you've got to score runs to win, but at the same time, how many runs do you have to score?"

Manuel said this after the bullpen watched a four-run deficit turn into a 10-run loss against Cincinnati. The combination of relievers B.J. Rosenberg, Jeremy Horst, Phillippe Aumont and Chad Durbin allowed six runs in the final two innings.

Durbin has allowed 12 earned runs in 13 1/3 innings this season, and the right-hander said that he and others in the Phillies' bullpen are in the process of trying to figure it out.

"I think the last five to six outings have been in games that are six- and seven-run games where you're figuring out what to do," Durbin said. "I thought the last couple times out, my stuff's been a lot better. So you kind of turn the corner. It's hard to really evaluate yourself in games that are eight, nine runs."

Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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