Phillies

Phillies reliever Pat Neshek makes it clear: He was willing to pitch Monday night

Phillies reliever Pat Neshek makes it clear: He was willing to pitch Monday night

Updated: 8:15 p.m.

CHICAGO — Phillies reliever Pat Neshek on Tuesday addressed a misconception that he was not available to pitch in the eighth inning of Monday night’s game against the Cubs.

In fact, Neshek made it clear: He was available to pitch. By the time he was ready to come into the game, however, the call came from the dugout that he would not be brought into the game.

The bullpens at Wrigley Field are under the bleachers and not visible to fans. However, there are television cameras in the bullpen and those cameras caught Neshek shaking his head “No,” as he warmed up. It was easy to infer from the shot that Neshek was saying he was not available to pitch. Not the case, he said, adding that the camera caught him making just his second toss from the mound and he was merely telling pitching coach Jim Gott that he was not ready yet.

“It looked really bad on TV and people were like ‘Neshek isn’t ready,’ " the pitcher said. "If (critics) are going to characterize me as ‘I’m not coming into the game,’ then know that was my first pitch. No one saw when the phone call (to initially get up) was made.

“(Manager Gabe Kapler) got me up on a 1-0 pitch on (Jason) Heyward. That’s when I got the call. I got on the mound and threw two pitches and then he called down. That’s what they showed on TV. He said, ‘Is he ready?’ And I said ‘No. I’m not ready yet. I’ve thrown two pitches.’”

Neshek said the dugout wanted to know if he was ready for Albert Almora Jr., who followed Heyward. Seranthony Dominguez, who walked the first two batters of the inning, stayed on and Almora bunted. That brought up Daniel Descalso, who tripled home two runs.

Neshek said he was “good to go” for Descalso, but Kapler decided to stick with Dominguez. After the game, Kapler said he targeted Neshek for Addison Russell. He ended up sticking with Dominguez on Russell. Dominguez ended up getting out of the inning, but the lead was gone. The Phillies eventually tied the game in the ninth and won it the 10th on a homer by J.T. Realmuto.

After the game, Kapler indicated that he was trying to be careful with Neshek because the pitcher said he “was a little sore” before the game. On Tuesday, Neshek said the soreness was normal, fatigue-related soreness and not an injury.

Neshek is 38 and a veteran of Tommy John surgery. He missed time last season with a shoulder injury. His workload needs to be monitored, but he emphasized he was ready to go Monday night, even after pitching on Friday and Sunday.

On Tuesday, Kapler said Neshek did not shut himself down in the bullpen. The manager added that he would try to avoid using Neshek on Tuesday night, but would be willing to do so if the situation dictated.

“We’ll look to be respectful of recent workloads,” Kapler said. “(Neshek) has been up in the ‘pen a lot. We’ve gotten him up on multiple occasions. Sometimes those pitches can be as strenuous as game pitches and we’re always trying to figure out how to evaluate getting loose in the ‘pen versus actually throwing pitches in the game. They can’t be that far off. Those last couple of pitches that get you where you need to be can’t be much different than a game pitch so I think we have to kind of respect those.”

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Phillies

Phillies manager update: Dusty Baker has second interview, Buck Showalter on tap Friday, Joe Girardi still to come

Phillies manager update: Dusty Baker has second interview, Buck Showalter on tap Friday, Joe Girardi still to come

Interviews continued Thursday for the Phillies’ vacant manager’s job.

According to multiple sources, Dusty Baker spent a second straight day in Philadelphia meeting with club officials. Baker went through a first round of interviews on Wednesday.

Buck Showater and Joe Girardi met with Phillies officials on Monday in the New York metropolitan area, according to multiple sources.

Showalter has been working as an analyst for the YES Network in New York during the postseason. Sources say he pulled out of his scheduled assignments for Thursday and Friday nights because he will be in Philadelphia for a second round of interviews on Friday.

Girardi is expected to have a second round of interviews early next week.

Though it’s possible more candidates could emerge, the Phillies are currently focused on just these three candidates.

“They want major-league experience,” a person with knowledge of the Phillies’ thinking said earlier this week.

Baker, Showalter and Girardi have a combined 53 years of big-league managing experience and they have won a combined seven manager of the year awards and 13 division titles. Girardi led the New York Yankees to the World Series title in 2009. His club beat the Phillies in six games.

Girardi may very well be the Phillies’ preferred candidate because of his experience working with a front office that values the use of analytics in building a roster and running a game. The Yankees are one of baseball’s analytic powerhouses. Girardi, however, is a former catcher who also relies on instinct and feel in running a game. That balance would be attractive to the Phillies.

Girardi is also being pursued by the New York Mets and they have geography going for them as Girardi lives outside the city.

With the second round of interviews underway, it's possible the Phils could name a manager as early as next Thursday, between Games 2 and 3 of the World Series.



Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

 

More on the Phillies

Another sign that Joe Girardi will be hired to manage somewhere soon

Another sign that Joe Girardi will be hired to manage somewhere soon

In another sign that he's likely to return to managing in the majors in 2020, Joe Girardi stepped down as the manager of USA Baseball, the organization announced Wednesday.

Girardi, who is believed to have met with Phillies officials Monday, is a strong candidate for multiple open manager jobs. The Phillies are interested, and the Cubs and Mets appear to be hot after him as well.

Girardi is the overwhelming fan choice to manage the Phillies. It's hard not to see the appeal of his combination of experience, blend of new school and old school and track record of winning. Phillies fans seem to prefer Girardi to Buck Showalter, whose teams haven't advanced as far in the postseason.

Girardi has played things differently this year than last. He had two interviews for the Reds job last fall but pulled himself out of the process, saying it wasn't the right time.

Now, he wants to manage. And the openings this time around are more appealing — three major market clubs in Philadelphia, New York and Chicago. The Mets do not spend to their market size but the Phillies and Cubs have done so in win-now periods.

It is much more likely that the Phillies would be forced into a bidding war for Girardi than for Showalter because of the number of interested teams.



Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Phillies