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Eyre seeking chance to help Phillies

Eyre seeking chance to help Phillies

MILWAUKEE -- Phillies left-hander J.C. Romero has not pitched since July 19, but he could be back for Monday's series opener against the Astros at Citizens Bank Park.

They could use him.

The Phillies are shorthanded in the bullpen, especially with left-handers. Southpaw Scott Eyre, who has a loose body in his left elbow, is able to pitch, but Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has said a couple times recently that once Eyre warms up, he has to pitch. If he warms up and is not needed, they said he can't sit down and warm up again.

But Eyre said he isn't sure he can't do that.

"I haven't had to do it yet," he said. "I warmed up [Saturday] and then the game was over. But I think I could warm up again. I understand their thoughts. It just makes it harder for me to pitch, though."

Eyre has not pitched since Sept. 7 in Houston.

"There has to be a situation where if this guy gets a hit, then I can pitch," Eyre said. "If not, then I've warmed up and I sit down and I'm no good. It's a little irritating. I've got to pitch first. I've got to prove I can get through an inning. I haven't even faced a hitter. That's the worst part. I just want to throw."

And with a week to play in the regular season, Eyre certainly would like to pitch. If he does not, it would seem less likely they would put him on the postseason roster.

"I have to prove I can pitch, but I have to get in a game first," Eyre said.

Pitching matchup
PHI: LHP Cole Hamels (10-9, 4.11 ERA)
Hamels has been pitching much better recently. He went 7-8 with a 4.78 ERA after his first 24 starts this season. The Phillies were just 12-12 in those starts, and his ERA was fifth-highest in the National League through Aug. 21. But he is 3-1 with a 2.01 ERA in his past six starts to get Phillies fans thinking he and Cliff Lee could be pretty dominating in the postseason.

HOU: RHP Wilton Lopez (0-0, 8.44 ERA)
Lopez is scheduled to make his first Major League start in place of Bud Norris, who was shut down Friday because of a concern for the number of innings he pitched. Lopez has appeared in five Major League games and has no decisions and a 10.38 ERA. He was 4-5 with a 4.73 ERA in 29 games, including 15 starts, at Double-A Corpus Christi this year.

Tidbits
The Phillies open a seven-game homestand Monday against the Astros and Marlins. The Astros swept the Phils in a four-game series at Minute Maid Park earlier this month. The Marlins took two of three from the Phillies last week at Land Shark Stadium. ... Second baseman Chase Utley entered Sunday hitting just .213 (20-for-94) with two homers and seven RBIs in September. ... Shane Victorino's two RBIs in the second inning Sunday were his first RBIs since Sept. 13. He had just three RBIs since Aug. 25 in Pittsburgh. ... Catcher Carlos Ruiz said his sprained left wrist feels better and said there is a chance he could play as early as Tuesday.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• CSN

On radio
• WPHT 1210, WUBA 1480 (Español)

Up next
• Tuesday: Phillies (J.A. Happ, 11-4, 2.79) vs. Astros (Yorman Bazardo, 0-2, 9.55), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Phillies (Cliff Lee, 14-12, 3.19) vs. Astros (Brian Moehler, 8-11, 5.21), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Phillies (Pedro Martinez, 5-1, 3.32) vs. Astros (Felipe Paulino, 2-11, 6.51), 7:05 p.m. ET

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

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