PHILADELPHIA – Hector Neris earned the save in the Phillies 2-1 win over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.
Neris’ performance combined with the eighth-inning efforts of relievers Dave Robertson and Adam Morgan took some pressure off the Phillies much-maligned bullpen.
Phillies relievers had struggled until Sunday.
Philaelphia, unlike most teams, has no designated closer.
Neris did the job Sunday, striking out two and retiring the side in order in the ninth inning. Robertson and Morgan combined to pitch the eighth
“I love the end of the game, no matter what,” Neris said. “I love being on the mound. I like seeing the faces on my team when they win. I love that. I love helping the team. I love helping the manager. It's what I love.”
Neris threw 17 pitches, 14 of them splitters.
“We start our game plan with ‘We can get strikeouts with Hector,’ ” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “So, if the game is very, very close we have a lot of confidence that (Neris) can come in and get swings and misses. When we look at a lineup from top to bottom, we think that Hector is able to get a strikeout on any batter in the game.”
We will have to wait and see what that means for how Phillies relievers are used in the future.