Diekman Picks Up Win in Debut

Diekman heads to the bigs for the first time. (PhoulBallz)

Listening to Jake Diekman talk to the media, you could tell the nerves were still running high. That’s why it was cool to see the rookie pitch in his first major league game AND come away with the win. It’s not the way anyone envisioned it, but moments like this can hardly be scripted.

Diekman was called upon because Chad Qualls hadn’t done his job in the ninth inning. Privately, I wondered if Diekman was ready for a situation like the one he was summoned for. Runners on second and third with two out, in to clean up the mess of a veteran reliever who had already blown the game for a former Cy Young pitcher. He struck the batter out, of course.

Did he think he’d be pitching in a situation like this right away? “Nope, not at all,” said Diekman. “I really thought I was going to have a four or five-run lead, or something like that.” But it never works out that way, and during Tuesday’s 4-3 win over the Astros it didn’t go according to plan for the Phillies.

With Qualls and Jose Contreras both struggling and Antonio Bastardo now just coming around, a void needs to be filled. Someone needs to hand the game to Jonathan Papelbon without incident and that man could be Diekman. No one else wants to take the role, so in the words of Charlie Manuel, “like, what the hell.”

How did Diekman get through the situation? “When I got put in, I had to make sure I didn’t trip down the stairs first. And then, I just wanted to make it all the way to the mound without tripping.”

“I felt pretty comfortable because I tried to control my breathing as much as possible. So, the second inning helped out a lot, because I had that one hitter already (in the ninth). So I felt like, I did it before, just go do it again.”

With the bullpen in disarray, the Phillies may ask him to do that more than just one time.

Click to comment


  1. Jeff

    May 16, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Question. The scum mets threw at someone. Then terry took wright
    Out to protect him. Isn’t that admiting it. Cowards

  2. Don M

    May 16, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Anyone see the Brett Lawrie “Lawrie throws helmet at umpire” … thing yet.. Headline meant to grab everyone’s attention – but the umpire was TERRIBLE and took the bat out of his hands in a 1-run game in the 9th …..

    then a fan threw a beer at the HP Ump as they left the field …. just imagining if that was in Philly'R'&sectionType=career&statType=1&season=2012&level='ALL

    • Chuck A.

      May 16, 2012 at 9:52 am

      I was watching the last few innings of the Orioles/Yanks game and had MLB Network on afterwards and saw it. Unbelievable!! If that happened in Philly with the fan throwing the beer it would be a national scandal.

      Funny thing is that very coverage from MLB Network was on Youtube less than a half hour after it originally aired.

  3. bacardipr05

    May 16, 2012 at 9:42 am

    I think he did great especially in the situation he was put in. Now having said that the guy will have to throw a few strikes or a little closer to the plate. Other wise people will just lay off his stuff. We will see hopefully he can be a bright spot this clubs needs it. Might be a little premature and I hope im wrong Schwimer looks like he might be another Mathieson/Zagurski. Lights out at the minors and cant translate it to Majors. Too much was riding on Contreras to be that 7th/8th inning guy, if he cant get it together i can see lots of blown leads.

    • Pat Gallen

      May 16, 2012 at 10:13 am

      Schwimer gets a bad rap, but he pitched 2 scoreless innings, then was hung out to dry in that extra inning game. People will only remember that he gave up the runs and got the loss. I still think Schwimer can be a positive at the highest level.

  4. Tom

    May 16, 2012 at 10:17 am

    So is it just me or does anyone else see how management failed to use the bullpen correctly AGAIN! Why was Pap used in the 9th inning on Monday night when the score was 5-1 when they knew that they had a day game on Tuesday? They essentially burned him for a non-save situation! This has happened on more than one occasion in the last few years, and it ticks me off that everyone wants to point a finger at Qualls and not see that this is also management’s failure! Hopefully, this won’t happen again since they are paying Pap all that money for his ability to save games…But I doubt it!!

    • Gladly

      May 16, 2012 at 10:26 am

      I think the reasoning is that Papelbon had already warmed up when it was still a save situation (all of the Phils scoring in the bottom of the 8th came with two outs), so he was already effectively “used” that night and would be unavailable Tuesday–might as well have him pitch. I can’t really argue either way if warming up should count as “usage.”

      • Tom

        May 16, 2012 at 10:32 am

        If that is their excuse, it’s weak! I don’t know how many times I’ve seen other teams have their closer warm up then not use him cause the team scores runs to make it a non-save situation. Hell, how many times do we see any reliever warm up then sit down when a team decides not to bring him in? This happened on different occasions with Madson last year too! I know you weren’t arguing their case, but it seems ridiculous to me!!

  5. Jeff

    May 16, 2012 at 10:22 am

    It was a save sit on Monday and pap was up. Then we scored in the
    8th. Charlie did not want him to sit.

    • Tom

      May 16, 2012 at 10:35 am

      It’s a weak excuse…When it’s this early in the season, and you’ve got a day game immediately following you can’t coddle your closer who you are paying to save games, and essentially burning him for two games!!

      • Don M

        May 16, 2012 at 11:03 am

        It’s not a weak excuse at all . . . . he was already “used” that night – he had pitched the two previous days ………..and when it was 3-1 in the 8th, he began to loosen & throw to warm up….

        once he did that – again, in a Save situation… and his 3rd day in a row ….. he wasn’t going to be available yesterday regardless of wheather he actually pitched in the game or not. . .

        so with a 4 run lead, they pitched him – and he finished off the win. If he would’ve pitched yesterday, people would call for Charlie’s head for throwing/warming up his closer 4 days in a row this early in the season

  6. Manny

    May 16, 2012 at 10:46 am

    I was VERY impressed by Diekman’s outing yesterday. His stuff was just plain nasty: a combination of that 95mph fastball that goes down and in, and that slider that had hitters guessing several times. This is exactly the type of pitcher we need in our pen. Hopefully the positive results will keep him in the pen for the whole season. What a breath of fresh air!

  7. bacardipr05

    May 16, 2012 at 10:48 am

    I can see your reasoning but dont agree. Chad is a Veteran he had a 2 run lead facing a bad team.

  8. bacardipr05

    May 16, 2012 at 10:59 am

    There will be times that Conteras(if he ever gets it together) and Qualls might be summoned to close a game out. Some of these might be save situations others may not be. Heck there might be a game or two that KK might have to be sent out to close a game. Its a long season and pitchers might be called on roles that they arent accustomed to at times.

  9. Don M

    May 16, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Qualls will hopefully be alright …….as “bad” as he’s been, he’s only got a 4.05 ERA .
    the problem is all the baserunners ……..

    His Hits/9 and Walks/9 are both up – giving him a WHIP of 1.80 …….which isn’t good. . .

    But prior to yesterday, he had pitched well 3 outings in a row – in 2.1 innings, he had 3 K’s, 2 Hits, 1 walk, no Runs… so going into yesterday, he was sporting a 2.84 ERA

    With Stutes on the shelf until at least June ….. Qualls is going to continue to get the ball in the 7th/8th innings, so we have to hope yesterday was a fluke

    For whatever reasons Schwimer can’t (yet?) duplicate his Minor League success here in the Majors ….. in 20 IP in the majors, he’s given up 22 hits, 12 Walks … but has 19 Ks … 6.10 ERA, and 1.645 WHIP ………….. Maybe its a nerves factor and he just doesn’t feel comfortable yet- but personally, i’ve haven’t been impressed with his “stuff” at all …. i’ve said a few times I think his pitches are very flat, and he lacks consistent low, late movement (why Bastardo was nasty last year, and Diekman was so filthy yeterday)

  10. bacardipr05

    May 16, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Thats why i sort of made the comparison to Zag’s. In his limited time Zagurski had a high SO ratio as well. 39 IP-42 SO.. Unfortunately when they arent striking out someone they are handing out BB or getting hit around. I do think Schwimer has a higher upside though..Lets see if he can get it together…I do agree with Pat earlier he was left out there to dry..

  11. Mazinman

    May 16, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Diekman did look really good yesterday and that salvaged another bad moment for our bullpen. The moment Qualls got announced instead of Papelbon my heart sunk. I feel really bad for poor Cliff Lee. The guy has a sub 2.00 ERA, 30 more strikeouts than walks and he still does not have his first win of the year!

  12. TheDipsy

    May 16, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Charlie using Paps the night before in a non save situation when we had a day game the next day was an abhorrent decision that no other baseball manager would have made. No one. “He was “lathered up” so they had to put him in”…..don’t buy any of that Wheels apologist bullshit. That was blatant misuse of the bullpen at its most fundamental level. Just glad it didn’t bite them in the ass yesterday. Just ridiculous.

    The Dipsy

    • Don M

      May 16, 2012 at 12:25 pm

      You think they would’ve pitched him yesterday after he had pitched two days in a row – and already warmed-up up for the 3rd day in a row (when it was still a Save situation)

      If he’s already loose- and you already wouldn’t use him in the following day’s day-game … why not pitch him instead of waste him (which he already was at that point)

      this to me is just another case of Phillies-hate and overreaction to a non-issue by Phillies fans.. Monday Morning QBs

  13. George

    May 16, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Pat, you mentioned wondering if Diekman could do the job in such a pressure situation. I, however, preferred that the Phils take that chance, because the only other available options (Bastardo and Papelbon had pitched in a few straight games, Qualls was already trying to lose it, and Kendrick was scheduled to start next day) were Valdes and Contreras. There would have been no chance there; everyone knows that either of those guys would have blown it.

    Good thing Diekman struck out three of the four batters he faced, although I have to give Pence a little credit. He actually managed not to mishandle the one fly ball Diekman allowed.

  14. arminius

    May 16, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    I was listening on the radio and LA said that Diekman’s 95 mph fastball showed a lot of movement. That is exactly the kind of fastball pitcher that garners success.

  15. betasigmadeltashag

    May 16, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    what impressed me with Diekman the most was that he got ahead in the count and then threw that nasty slider out of the zone and got people to swing at them, it is all about throwning good strikes to start 0-1 instead of 1-0. The only question I have is how come with Worley on the DL why not bring up another AA or AAA starter for one start against a team like the cubs, maybe you another Vance maybe not, but why not give one of them a shot, and leave KK in the pen as the long guy. It has worked in the past even if it is a vetrern guy you have in Triple A for one start. Guys like Lopez a few years ago, even Happ. For one or two games where teams especially bad teams do not have a book on a guy can give you 6-7 innings of good pitching, and even if it is five you have KK that can go 2-3. I think be the last chance for KK to show he can spot start and go 6-7 innings and only give up 2-3 runs

    • Manny

      May 16, 2012 at 1:05 pm

      I agree with that. Bring in a guy from the minors and catch the other team unprepared. It works more often than not. Hopefully KK will do well tonight and once again become a reliable spot starter like he did last season.

    • GM

      May 16, 2012 at 3:02 pm

      One of the reasons the minors isn’t a consideration is the 40 man roster, none of the 3 healthy pictures not on the active 25 man roster are starters.

      43 Phillippe Aumont *
      66 J.C. Ramirez *
      44 Michael Schwimer *

  16. Manny

    May 16, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    On second thought, I like what Charlie is doing here. It’s way early in the season and I think KK earned more than a couple of shots at starting given his excellent results last season. As a manager, he’s gotta keep confidence in him, especially early on.

  17. davehist

    May 16, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Cross the fingers and send Kyle Kendrick out there against the Cubs. Despite his really hideous outings this season so far, he has shown in the past that he can get the job done, so we put him out there and hold our collective breath. At least Hunter may have emerged from the dismal hitting slump he was in.

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