Bastardo hits rough patch as Deadline nears

Bastardo hits rough patch as Deadline nears

PHILADELPHIA -- Nearly every contending team hopes to acquire bullpen help before Thursday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, which has made Phillies left-hander Antonio Bastardo a popular pitcher for weeks.

He seemed like the most likely Phillies player to be traded because he doesn't figure to require a top prospect in return and he is not signed to a hefty, multi-year contract. He makes just $2 million this season and cannot become a free agent until after the 2015 season.

But the past two nights have not helped his value. He allowed a grand slam Friday -- he inherited three runners -- and four runs in the 10th inning Saturday in a 10-6 loss to Arizona. It included a three-run home run to D-backs pinch-hitter Nick Evans.

"The last couple of nights it's been his slider that he got beat on," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "The home run tonight was a slider. He's showing good fastballs and getting beat with his slider."

These past two games might not kill a deal, but it could convince a general manager from another team to be a little stingier with his prospects.

Bastardo's ERA rose from 3.27 to 4.17 after these last two appearances. He also allowed five runs in one-third of an inning June 28. He followed that with eight scoreless appearances before his last two, but it still gives him a 10.80 ERA in his last 11 appearances.

Bastardo was unavailable to comment after the game.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for Erik Bacharach is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.