Tag Archives: Pat Neshek

Look back at the Phillies in the MLB All-Star Game during the 2010’s

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On right, Victorino, Polanco, Lee, Hamels repped Phillies in 2011

On Tuesday night, Major League Baseball will celebrate many of it’s top names with the playing of the All-Star Game at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio.

For Phillies fans, this 90th version of the Midsummer Classic will feature just one member of their favorite ball club. That has been the case in most recent years with the team usually in a non-contending position.
However, this second decade of the 21st century did not begin that way. When the decade opened, the Phillies were on top of the National League. The were two-time defending NL champions, had been legitimate contenders for most of the previous decade, and featured a star-studded lineup and pitching staff.
In the 2010 MLB All-Star Game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim, the Phillies had three representatives. First baseman Ryan Howard started and batted in the cleanup spot for the NL squad. Second baseman Chase Utley was voted as the starting NL second baseman for a fifth consecutive year, but sprained his thumb in late June and had to miss the game. Roy Halladay was one of the NL reserve pitchers.
Howard went 0-2 that night, striking out to leadoff the top of the 2nd inning against David Price. Halladay came on to pitch in the bottom of the 6th inning. He surrendered a leadoff single to Derek Jeter, but then got Paul Konerko to roll into a double play. After giving up a base hit to Josh Hamilton, the Phillies righty was lifted by manager Charlie Manuel.
The 2011 MLB All-Star Game was played at Chase Field in Phoenix, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. For the first time since 2004, no Phillies position players were voted in as starters. However, Halladay was selected to start on the mound for the National League.
After Doc pitched two perfect innings, he was followed to the mound by rotation mate Cliff Lee. The Phillies lefty would retire the first five batters he faced before Adrian Gonzalez homered with two outs in the top of the 4th inning. It would be the only run allowed by NL pitching in a 5-1 victory.
The Phillies had three more All-Stars in 2011, but none got into the game. Those three were pitcher Cole Hamels, third baseman Placido Polanco, and center fielder Shane Victorino.
Interesting note: Also on that 2011 NL All-Star squad were Andrew McCutchenJay Bruce, and Hunter Pence. The latter would be dealt to the Phillies at the end of that month. For Cutch it was the first of five consecutive appearances as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Bruce was enjoying his first of two straight and three overall with the Cincinnati Reds.
By the 2012 MLB All-Star Game, the Phillies fortunes were waning. After winning the NL East Division for five consecutive seasons, the club sat at 37-50 at the All-Star break. That was last place in the division, 14 games out of first. They would make a second-half run to finish at 81-81, finishing in 3rd. For the first time since 2003, no Phillies appeared in the NL starting lineup.
Despite the struggles, that team still placed three players on the team: Hamels, catcher Carlos Ruiz, and new closer Jonathan Papelbon. The NL squad also featured an exciting 19-year-old phenom outfielder named Bryce Harper, who was making his first of a half-dozen all-star appearances over the next seven seasons with Washington.
Ruiz would replace starter Buster Posey behind the plate for the bottom of the 6th inning, given the dubious honor of handling knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. In the top of the 7th, ‘Chooch’ flew out to left against Oakland A’s reliever Ryan Cook in what would be the lone all-star at-bat of his career.
Hamels tossed a perfect 7th inning in that 2012 game. Papelbon retired Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, the only batter he faced, on a fly ball to left field to end an 8-0 National League victory at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
The Phillies had a pair of NL All-Stars in the 2013 MLB All-Star Game at Citi Field. One was outfielder Domonic Brown, who had gotten red hot for the only stretch of his big-league career, lasting about seven weeks, to earn the nod. The other was Lee, who was greeted, uh, lustily by the New York fans at Citi Field and who responded, uh, stoically.
Brown entered as a replacement in left field for Carlos Gonzalez in the top of the 6th inning and then struck out against Toronto lefty reliever Brett Cecil. Lee pitched the top of the 5th, surrendering a leadoff double to Adam Jones followed by a single by Joe Mauer. After Jones scored on a ground out, Lee got out of the inning by getting 21-year-old Mike Trout to ground into a double play.
Target Field in Minnesota was the site of the 2014 MLB All-Star Game, and the Phillies returned to placing a starter when Chase Utley was voted as the second baseman for the sixth time in his career. He was also the only Phillies all-star that year, the first time since Randy Wolf represented the club back in 2003 that the club had just one player named to the NL squad.
Batting 7th in the lineup, Utley ripped a one-out RBI double off Jon Lester in the top of the 2nd to get the NL on the scoreboard. With two out in the top of the 5th, Utley was hit by a pitch from Chicago White Sox lefty Chris Sale and was lifted for pinch-runner Dee Gordon.
In the 2015 MLB All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Papelbon was the lone Phillies rep. He did not pitch in the game, and would appear in just five more games for the club before being traded to Washington exactly two weeks to the day after the game.
Petco Park in San Diego hosted the 2016 MLB All-Star Game and outfielder Odubel Herrerawas the lone Phillies representative. He took over in center field in the bottom of the 5th inning, then flew out against Kansas City pitcher Kelvin Herrera in the top of the 6th inning. He was pinch-hit for by Starling Marte in the top of the 8th inning.
The National League hosted for a third straight year when the 2017 MLB All-Star Game was played at Marlins Park in Miami. Reliever Pat Neshek represented the Phillies, then much as Papelbon two years earlier, pitched in five more games for the club before getting traded just over two weeks later.
Which brings us to last year. At Nationals Park, Harper got the start in center field in front of his former home fans after putting on a major show the previous day to win the Home Run Derby. One of the backup catchers was J.T. Realmuto, then with Miami and serving as that lone Phillies rep in tonight’s game.
The lone Phillies player selected for last year’s 2018 MLB All-Star Game was pitcher Aaron Nola. The righty came in for the 5th inning and struck out the first two AL batters that he faced in Salvador Perez and Mookie Betts. After giving up a single to Jose Altuve, Nola got Trout to pop out to first base foul territory to complete a shutout frame.
Howard, Utley, Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Polanco, Victorino, Ruiz, Papelbon, Brown, Herrera, Neshek, Nola. Those 13 players all appeared in the MLB All-Star Game during the decade of the 2010’s for the National League squad as a representative of the Philadelphia Phillies. Realmuto joins the list tonight in Cleveland.

Rain takes out Phillies and Nats in opener, threatens entire series

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Rain will be a threat all week to four-game series in D.C.

The Philadelphia Phillies (39-32) and Washington Nationals (33-38) were rained out of what was originally scheduled to be the opener of a four-game series on Monday night.

The two teams will try once again to get the series underway, this time on Tuesday night at Nationals Park as the forecast once again is calling for a good chance of showers and thunderstorms in the D.C. area.
The National Weather Service as of late on Tuesday afternoon has placed the D.C. area under a severe thunderstorm watch until 10:00pm EDT, so we’ll just have to see whether they have better luck this time around in dodging those storms.
The Phillies are currently in second place in the National League East Division standings and control the second NL Wildcard playoff berth. The Nationals are in fourth place, six games behind the Phillies.
These are two teams who have been headed in opposite directions for weeks. But that direction would not be as reflected in their position in those current standings.
Washington has gone 14-7 over the last three weeks. They have begun to dig their way out of a deep hole in which the club found itself after the first two months of the schedule had been played. Meanwhile, the Phillies led the division for all but seven days until just about a week ago. But the club has dropped 10 of its last 16 games and has been unable to put together any kind of lengthy winning stretch.

TUESDAY STARTING LINEUPS

PHILLIES

  1. Jean Segura SS
  2. Bryce Harper RF
  3. Scott Kingery 3B
  4. Rhys Hoskins 1B
  5. Sean Rodriguez LF
  6. Roman Quinn CF
  7. Cesar Hernandez 2B
  8. Andrew Knapp C
  9. Jake Arrieta P
Phillies manager Gabe Kapler is giving catcher J.T. Realmuto and left fielder Jay Bruce another day to rest from their recent injuries, which are still listed publicly as minor. Both hope to return in the coming days. Bruce was listed as available to pinch-hit on Monday night, so is likely considered same on Tuesday.

NATIONALS

  1. Trea Turner SS
  2. Adam Eaton RF
  3. Anthony Rendon 3B
  4. Juan Soto LF
  5. Matt Adams 1B
  6. Brian Dozier 2B
  7. Yan Gomes C
  8. Patrick Corbin P
  9. Victor Robles CF
Nationals manager Dave Martinez going with the old pitcher-hitting-eighth strategy here.

SHIBE VINTAGE SPORTS STARTING PITCHING MATCHUP

PHILLIES – Jake Arrieta: 6-5, 4.31 ERA, 1.447 WHIP, 88 hits over 85.2 IP across 14 starts with a 70/36 K:BB
NATIONALS – Patrick Corbin: 5-5, 4.11 ERA, 1.219 WHIP, 75 hits over 85.1 IP across 14 starts with a 94/29 K:BB

PHILLIES NUGGETS PREGAME NOTES

  • Key for the Phillies, as usual, is scoring four or more runs. The club is 35-7 this season when reaching that mark, and just 4-25 when scoring three runs or fewer.
  • This will mark the 12th start of the season for both Knapp and Rodriguez, and the seventh start for Quinn.
  • Kingery is hitting .500 over his last six games. Eight of his 11 hits going for extra bases (3 doubles, a triple, 4 homers) for a 1.273 slugging percentage. He is one of just three MLB players this season with 130 plate appearances who are hitting at least .340 with a .380 OBP and a .660 SLG %. The other two are the consensus NL MVP leaders, Cody Bellingerand Christian Yelich. He is batting .385 with five doubles, two homers, and 14 RBIs with RISP this season.
  • Harper’s .917 caeer OPS at Nationals Park is tops among all players with 1,000 plate appearances, and his 93 career home runs rank second. He is hitting .385 with three doubles over 13 career at-bats vs Corbin. Harper is just four home runs shy of 200 for his big-league career.
  • Hoskins is one of only two NL hitters (Bellinger) with more than 45 RBI and 45 walks this season.
  • Arrieta will be working with six days of rest if he starts on Tuesday. The veteran righty is 19-5, 2.60 ERA in 37 career starts on six or more days rest.
  • Soto is probably the one major under-achieving Nationals hitter to this point, but he has taken Arrieta deep twice in just a half-dozen career at-bats.
  • On Friday, when the Phillies return home, Chase Utley will be honored for his illustrious career with the club on what will be Toyota Chase Utley Retirement Night. All fans will receive an Utley bobble figurine styled after his famous World Series parade speech.

INJURY REPORT

Phillies: Activated Roman Quinn and placed Jerad Eickhoff on the IL prior to Monday’s rainout. Quinn is being immediately inserted into the starting lineup, giving the club a legitimate defensive center fielder. Pat Neshek is also now back from the IL. He has walked only one of the 75 batters faced in 2019; his 1.33% walk rate is lowest among qualifying relievers, and Neshek has converted eight of his last nine save opportunities dating back to July 2018.

TICKET IQ PROGRAMMING INFORMATION


Phillies go for rivalry series win on Father’s Day at SunTrust Park

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Phillies try to win series on Father’s Day at SunTrust Park

The Philadelphia Phillies (39-31) and Atlanta Braves (41-30) have taken turns breaking the hearts of each other’s fans over each of the last two nights.

The Braves rallied with three runs in the bottom of the 9th inning for a 9-8 walkoff victory in the Friday night series opener. Last night, the Phillies scored twice in the 9th for a comeback 5-4 win.
All of that drama leaves the two teams right where they began when this key mid-June series began. The Braves lead the Phillies by 1.5 game in the National League East Division standings, but by just one game in the loss column.
With another win in Sunday’s finale, the Phillies can pull off a series victory, something that seemed improbably just about 37 hours ago after Friday night’s demoralizing defeat.
After this, the Phillies come back up north to take on the division-rival Washington Nationals in a four-game set at Nationals Park beginning on Monday evening. That idea of facing division rivals is one that Phillies fans should get used to, as it will only be NL East opposition for the next month.

SUNDAY STARTING LINEUPS

PHILLIES

  1. Jean Segura SS
  2. Bryce Harper RF
  3. Scott Kingery CF
  4. Rhys Hoskins 1B
  5. Cesar Hernandez 2B
  6. Nick Williams LF
  7. Maikel Franco 3B
  8. Andrew Knapp C
  9. Vince Velasquez P

BRAVES

  1. Ronald Acuna Jr.CF
  2. Dansby Swanson SS
  3. Freddie Freeman 1B
  4. Josh Donaldson 3B
  5. Nick Markakis RF
  6. Austin Riley LF
  7. Ozzie Albies 2B
  8. Tyler Flowers C
  9. Mike Foltynewicz P

SHIBE VINTAGE SPORTS STARTING PITCHING MATCHUP

PHILLIES – Vince Velasquez: 2-3, 4.08 ERA, 1.513 WHIP, 39 hits over 39.2 IP across 16 games (6 starts) with a 45/21 K:BB. It is expected that Velasquez will simply serve as an “Opener” in this game, possibly to be followed by lefty Cole Irvin.
BRAVES – Mike Foltynewicz: 1-5, 6.02 ERA, 1.318 WHIP, 52 hits over 49.1 IP across nine starts with a 42/13 K:BB. Foltynewicz spent the first month of the season on the IL and was activated on April 27. He has produced just three Quality Starts over his first nine, and has allowed a dozen earned runs and five homers in 16 innings over his last three outings.

PHILLIES NUGGETS PREGAME NOTES

  • Foltynewicz has made 13 career appearances (12 starts) against the Phillies in his career: 6-3, 3.28 ERA, 1.164 WHIP, 57 hits allowed over 71.1 IP with a 75/26 K:BB ratio.
  • The Phillies with a win today can get to the .500 mark on the road this season. They are currently 16-17 away from home and 23-14 at Citizens Bank Park. They also look to get to the .500 mark in June, now 6-7 on the month.
  • After the last two night’s dramatic finishes, the Phillies are now 8-7 in one-run games this season.

INJURY REPORT

The Phillies have activated righty reliever Pat Neshek for this game. He joins Edubray Ramos, who returned from the IL this past week, as the Phillies begin to put their injury-depleted bullpen back together. It is expected that Adam Morgan will go on a minor league rehab assignment as soon as Monday, and the lefty could return later next week.

TICKET IQ PROGRAMMING INFORMATION


Pat Neshek 2019 first trimester report card

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Neshek started fast, leveled off, then came up injured 

Each season in Major League Baseball is currently scheduled to last for 162 games. This means that the Philadelphia Phillies (30-21) will reach the 1/3 pole with their home game on Tuesday night against the Saint Louis Cardinals.

Over the next few days, I’ll be handing out the report cards for the first “trimester” of the season for each player on the Phillies 2019 roster. There will be a letter grade, along with a brief description of their contributions, including their relevant statistics.
I’ll be back with each player’s grades for the second trimester and the season to that point when the Phillies reach the 108-game mark. That is scheduled to come on July 31, the same date as the MLB trade deadline.

PAT NESHEK

FIRST TRIMESTER GRADE: C
STATS: 19 games, 0-1 record, 3 Saves, 4.67 ERA, 1.327 WHIP, 22 hits allowed including four home runs over 17.1 innings with a 9/1 K:BB ratio.
REPORT: Neshek started off strong, going unscored upon in seven of his first eight outings. Ironically, in the one game that he did surrender a run, he earned his first Save of the season on April 8 at home against the Nationals. He then gave up a pair at Coors Field, for which there is no shame considering that environment.
After that appearance against the Rockies, Neshek shut down the opposition in six of his next eight outings. It was his final appearance of the season to this point that really blew up his stats. He surrendered three earned runs by getting drilled for a pair of homers by the Cubs during the Phillies 9-7 series finale win at Wrigley Field.
And then, injury struck. It was described in this manner by Matt Breen of Philly.com:
He appeared troubled Friday when he walked off the field as the rest of the pitchers were throwing on the field before batting practice. Neshek talked to bullpen coach Jim Gott, grabbed his shoulder, and returned to the clubhouse. He was examined by a Brewers physician before flying to Philadelphia for further testing.
It’s very reasonable to suspect that the shoulder was not 100% during Thursday’s appearance. Neshek has been placed on the Injured List, will be examined further, and there is no current timetable for his return. However, he did miss the first half of last season with shoulder trouble, so this could be a significant period of time spent out of the bullpen mix.
A solid, veteran, Neshek is not a dominating pitcher. But his experience and success over parts of 13 big-league seasons made him a valuable piece to manager Gabe Kapler‘s relief pitcher corps. Though he would experience a “hiccup” outing every so often, he was normally a reliable option. His loss further depletes what was already a unit suffering greatly under the weight of repeated injuries.

Give us your feedback. Respond either as a comment to this piece or at our social media feeds. What is your take on him to this point? What, if anything, would you do differently regarding this player or their role if you were the Phillies manager or GM?

Originally published at Phillies Nation as Phillies 2019 first trimester report card: Pat Neshek

Phillies search for a closer is over as Hector Neris seizes the role

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Hector Neris has seized the Phillies bullpen closer role

Phillies manager Gabe Kapler began the 2019 season without a named closer at the back-end of his pitching staff. There were a number of options who appeared to be reasonably attractive. The skipper chose to simply use whichever option appeared best at an important moment over the late innings based on specific match-ups.

What began as a group of a half-dozen arms who Kapler hoped would fill those end-game roles has gradually shrunk to dangerously low levels.
David Robertson started slowly, producing a 5.40 ERA and 2.100 WHIP over seven games. The veteran free agent signee allowed eight hits over his first 6.2 innings with a 6/6 K:BB ratio before going down with a flexor strain in mid-April. It had been assumed by many that he would ultimately see the bulk of any “closer” opportunities.
Edubray Ramos and Victor Arano have also wound up on the Injured List. Youngsters Seranthony Dominguez and Edgar Garcia, the former who many believe has the pure stuff to one day serve as a closer, have been inconsistent at best. Pat Neshek has mostly succeeded despite not having dominant stuff and getting hit hard at times.
But one arm has emerged to save the day. That would be the big right arm of 29-year-old Hector Neris.
Neris had been the Phillies closer entering the 2018 season. But he began the year blowing a series of games, and by the end of June his ERA had skyrocketed to the 6.90 mark. Mercifully, he was demoted to Triple-A in order to rediscover his mojo.
Over 19 games with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Neris regained his confidence. He dominated minor league hitters, allowing just nine hits over 18.2 innings, striking out 31 batters while walking just seven in that time.
In mid-August, the righty was called back to Philadelphia. He immediately carried over that minor league success to the big-leagues, becoming the National League’s Reliever of the Month even though he didn’t appear in a single game with the Phillies until the 15th of the month.
From his August 15 return until the end of the season, Neris allowed just 11 hits over 17.2 innings with a dominating 35/5 K:BB ratio. He recorded a 2.04 ERA and .172 batting average against over that time while registering one Save and four Holds.
Neris has continued that dominance into the 2019 season. He has allowed just a dozen hits over 20.1 innings with a 27/6 K:BB ratio and has seized that closer role, earning seven Saves. Most importantly, Neris has suffered just one loss. Otherwise, he has blown no opportunities to close out a ball game over 20 appearances, 11 of those as chances to finish things off.
After Neris closed out a win this past Saturday night over the Colorado Rockies, Kapler was quoted by Matt Breen at Philly.com:

“When we see the splitter biting from the dugout – and when I say ‘biting,’ it doesn’t tumble and roll, but it takes a sharp downward action and guys are fouling the ball straight into the dirt or they’re swinging and missing – we know we have it…When we see that from the dugout, we know we have a dominant force.”

Last night at Wrigley Field, Neris came on for the bottom of the 9th inning after the Phillies had tied things up in the top of the frame. He shut the host Chicago Cubs down, striking out Victor Caratini to end the frame and send the game into extra innings.
The Phillies would take the lead on a J.T. Realmuto homer in the top of the 10th, Adam Morgan and Juan Nicasio would combine to shut the Cubs down in the bottom of the inning to end it, and Neris would be credited with the win.
Put it all together and Neris has allowed only 23 hits, just two home runs, over 38 innings across 40 games since his recall last August. It’s not just plain-old success, he has dominated opposing hitters with a 62/11 K:BB ratio. Neris has shown himself to be born again hard. He is as automatic as any closer in the game today. It’s time that we begin to expect it.