Final 3 innings on this countdown of the Phils’ 2014 season. What’s in store for your reading eyes? Just a few more standout moments made by a few good men.
7th Inning: Jake Diekman
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The southpaw hit the century mark with 100 strikeouts after facing 2 batters and sending them straight back to the dugout in the final game of the season. His career-high was the most by a Phillies reliever since Al Holland struck out 100 batters in 1983.
8th Inning: 100-Mile Giles
Slow down, rookie?
Nah, not the flamethrowing right-hander Ken Giles, who had one of the greatest seasons by a rookie reliever – in Phillies franchise history. He made his Major League debut on June 12th and posted a 1.18 ERA through the end of the season, with 6 earned runs and 45.2 innings pitched. Good times, Kenny. During the 2014 season, he ranked 3rd in WHIP (0.79), strikeout to walk ratio (5.82), opponents slugging (.230), OBP (.220) and OPS (.450). He also was 4th in hits per 9.0 innings (4.93) and 5th in opponents AVG (.164) and strikeouts per 9.0 innings (12.61). Of Giles’ 44 appearances, 39 of them were scoreless.
Talk about holding down those late innings. He struck out 64 of the 166 batters he faced in 2014, which was the 2nd-best SO rate among all National League relievers, trailing only Cincinatti’s Aroldis Chapman. Giles also went through some nice stretches outside of team stretch at BP. He posted 3 scoreless streaks of 9.0 or more innings and including a stretch where he retired 25 consecutive batters. OK, that’s a lot of info if you need to take a second to digest it.
Good? Good. Because we’re here – the final inning of this countdown.
9th Inning: Pen Pals.
The Phillies bullpen worked it out in 2014. Like a gang of underdog Rocky Balboa’s, they started from the bottom, beginning the season with the worst relievers ERA (4.95) in the NL over their first 36 games to posting a Major League-best 2.41 ERA (37 ER, 138.1 IP in 50 games) from August 5th through the end of the season. During that final stretch Phillies relievers ranked 1st in opponents slugging % (.297) and OPS (.585), 2nd in opp. AVG (.213) and 3rd in opp. OBP (.288) and SO/9.0 IP (9.69). One more fun fact about this group: They also allowed the 2nd-fewest total base runners over that span (162). So thanks fellas.
Phinal Note: Halloween Costume Ready?
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Until next time!