The Phillies had a rough day yesterday. So you can understand that Charlie Manuel was not particularly interested in answering questions about his crappy bullpen. Specifically the bullpen that gave up the 1-0 lead when Antonio Bastardo walked two dudes and gave up a three-run bomb to Carlos Pena.
Someone asked Manuel why Bastardo came in the game in the eighth inning. Manuel explained that Hamels had already thrown 111 pitches, it was hot, it was the eighth inning and how the fates and Ruben Amaro had aligned the world in such a way that Bastardo is the Phillies’ eighth inning guy. Then he said …
“You guys ought to sit in the dugout with me during the game and give me all the scenarios because I don’t think we know them,” Manuel said sarcastically. “We don’t know how to manage a game. Really, you guys ought to sit down there with us or tweet or something and float the information down there to me because I’m not smart enough to get it.”
I’d love to see a Twitter-sourced baseball game in which the manager does whatever his tweeps tell him to do. Maybe some of the matchups would work out better. And maybe Manuel would know who’s having a bad day at work, who can’t get some pop song out of their head, who’s watching that week’s “Mad Men” and what everybody’s beer status was.
Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.
Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.
Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.
At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.
Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.