And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights

9 Comments

Damon homers.jpgTigers 5, Yankees 4: Johnny Damon hit a homer and Austin Jackson drove in a run on a groundout. That’s cool and all, but otherwise they combined to go 1 for 7 with three strikeouts. Despite that, how much you wanna bet that the New York papers make a huge “oh, if we only had those guys!” fuss this morning?

Reds 2, Pirates 1: How to tell if a team is for real? It wins the games it’s supposed to win. A lot of teams have had a problem doing that when the Pirates are involved this year, but Cincy took care of it last night.

Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 3: Andre Ethier went 3 for 5 with two doubles and two RBI. He’s probably happy that Ronnie Belliard had that contact clause requiring him to lose weight seeing as though he’s carrying this team on his back and everything.

Phillies 9, Rockies 5: Carlos Ruiz and Ross Gload (?!) did most of the damage here, as the Phillies came from behind twice and capped the night off with a four-run ninth inning. In other news, Huston Street threw a bullpen session yesterday. He has been missed.

Braves 8, Brewers 2: Tommy Hanson threw eight scoreless with 8Ks and Martin Prado hit a grand slam. I love the quotes from the Braves in the game story about how it feels like they’re turning it around and everything. One-game winning streak, dudes. For Milwaukee, Ryan Braun left the game in the seventh after getting plunked.

Marlins 4, Cubs 2: Ted Lilly took a no-hitter into the sixth but, in clear violation of baseball’s unwritten rules, the Marlins broke it up and won the game. Wait, correction: it was only a violation of Ted Lilly’s unwritten rules. Still, gotta have respect for (Ted Lilly’s) game, Marlins. Totally bush league if you ask me.  In other news, Cody Ross stole home on a double steal, and that’s always fun (video here).

Angels 5, Rays 4: The Rays’ bats were suffering a perfect game hangover for a long time in this one, but finally woke up late to come from behind and tie it at 4 in the ninth. The winning run came in the 11th, with the sequence going like this: a single, a sacrifice bunt, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly. Note: no animals or baseballs were harmed in the manufacturing of this run.

Nationals 3, Mets 2: Adam Kennedy and Ryan Zimmerman hit back-to-back jacks and Luis Atilano and five relievers, who did not include closer Matt Capps or winning machine Tyler Clippard, kept the Mets’ bats quiet. A couple of baserunning mistakes hurt the Mets. First, David Wright got doubled off first base on a popup. It had been so long since he had been standing on first perhaps he forgot what to do over there. Second, Jeff Francoeur got caught in a rundown between third and home after breaking for it on a chopper back to the mound.  He’s Jeffy, though, and for him those things just happen sometimes.

Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 6: Brandon Morrow walked five dudes in the second inning. In fact, the Red Sox’ four runs that inning came by virtue of a single hit. The Jays’ 2-5 hitters combined to go 0 for 16.

There was another miscommunication between the Phillies and Pat Neshek

Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Back in June 2017, then-manager of the Phillies Pete Mackanin and reliever Pat Neshek had some miscommunication. In a series against the Cardinals, Neshek worked a five-pitch eighth inning and it was believed he would come back out for the ninth inning, but he never did. Mackanin said Neshek said he didn’t want to pitch another inning. Neshek said he was never asked. There was also some miscommunication the game prior. Neshek thought he had the day off; Mackanin said Neshek said he wasn’t available to pitch.

Mackanin is no longer the Phillies’ manager, but the miscommunication between Neshek and the team apparently persist. Neshek was notably absent during the Phillies’ hard-fought 5-4 win over the Cubs on Monday night. The game featured a struggling Seranthony Domínguez pitching two innings, yielding three crucial runs in his second inning of work.

Manager Gabe Kapler called the bullpen and instructed Neshek to begin warming up to prepare to face Albert Almora, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Kapler rang the bullpen after Domínguez walked Jason Heyward, who batted ahead of Almora. Neshek wasn’t warmed up yet. Domínguez was able to retire Almora on a sacrifice bunt, which was reviewed and gave Neshek some extra time to get ready. He was ready for the next batter, Daniel Descalso, but at this point Kapler no longer wanted to bring Neshek into the game. Descalso lined a triple to left-center field, scoring two runs and came home himself when shortstop Jean Segura‘s throw caromed off of his foot out of play.

Recounting the situation, Neshek said, “I got on the mound and threw two pitches. [Kapler] said, ‘Is he ready?’ And I said, ‘No. I’m not ready yet. I’ve thrown two pitches.” Neshek was asked how long it takes him to get ready. The veteran said, “A minute. Not 20 seconds. I’m, like, the best in the league at getting ready. My whole career has been coming in like that.”

The Phillies were able to eke out a 5-4 win. Had they lost the game, Kapler and Neshek would likely have been under the microscope for the awkward situation leading to a crushing defeat. Kapler drew plenty of criticism over his bullpen management last year in his rookie managerial season. That included bringing in lefty reliever Hoby Milner into a game in which he hadn’t yet warmed up.

Maybe it’s just a coincidence that the manager who struggled with bullpen management last year nearly mucked up a win last night, and maybe it’s just a coincidence that a reliever who’s had prior issues with communication had another communication mix-up. Maybe it’s not. It’s worth noting that the Phillies needed three innings from the bullpen to protect a 2-1 lead over the Cubs on Tuesday. Kapler called on rookie Edgar Garcia for two outs, lefty José Álvarez for four, and then brought in Juan Nicasio to close things out in the ninth. No Neshek, even as Nicasio got into trouble. Nicasio would surrender the tying and go-ahead runs, resulting in a deflating 3-2 loss.