Angel Pagan hits strike four for a three-run game-winning homer

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Angel Pagan came to the plate in the top of the ninth inning with the Giants down 5-3 to the Reds.  Two outs One out. Two strikes on the batter. And then: heroics!  A three run bomb off closer Sean Marshall that ended up winning the game for San Francisco!

Except … check out the pitch right before the home run:

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That third one was the 0-2 pitch. And it was called a ball.  The fourth one — which was the fourth strike Marshall threw — was the homer.

I know a pitcher has to shake off a bad call and make his pitches — and it’s not like the umpire caused Pagan to hit it over the fence — but man, it’s a lot harder of a game when you have to throw four strikes to a hitter and not just three.

Phillies option Hector Neris to Triple-A

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The Phillies announced that they’ve optioned right-hander Hector Neris to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Nerris, who saved 26 games as the Phillies closer in 2017 and ten games in that role this year, has struggled this year, posting a 6.00 ERA in 30 appearances. While his strikeout and walk rates aren’t too far off what he was doing last year his hit rate has spiked and he’s currently allowing 10.3 safeties per nine. The wheels have come off of late, as he has allowed nine runs on 15 hits — five of them homers — over his last eight innings of work. Yesterday he allowed four runs in the ninth inning of a game the Phillies had led by five.

It was clear that Gabe Kapler had lost faith in Neris as a result, using him almost exclusively in low-leverage situations. That changed on Saturday, as Kapler used him in a save situation and said after the game that they were easing him back into his role. That plan obviously changed after yesterday’s meltdown.

Seranthony Dominguez had been getting the call in save situations. He’ll get them more now.