Kapler explains 9th-inning pitching change

After Ramos fanned first two hitters, Neris closed out game

May 16th, 2018

BALTIMORE -- looked unhittable in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday afternoon at Camden Yards. Then he got the hook.

Ramos struck out swinging on three pitches and swinging on three pitches in a 4-1 victory over the Orioles. Phillies manager Gabe Kapler then called for to face the left-handed-hitting Chris Davis, who grounded out to end the game.

The mid-inning pitching change warranted an explanation. Kapler removed Neris from the full-time closer's role Sunday in a 4-2 victory over the Mets, saying he planned to use his relievers based on matchups and situations. But pulling Ramos after being so dominant? Could Kapler be playing with fire there?

"I actually think it's just the opposite," said Kapler, who likes how Neris' splitter plays against lefties. "I think we're playing what we believe is most likely to happen.

"Let's be very clear. I just want to be clear about one thing: This is about the talent of the players. Once we've established the talent of the players, we want to really know what that talent looks like. So we know that Ramos' slider is very effective against right-handed hitters. It's been true for over a year. So we give him that opportunity. That creates that confidence. He's going to walk out of there feeling like a million bucks.

"Guess who else is going to feel like a million bucks? Hector Neris. He just got a huge out for us. It's not always going to work out like this. But this is what we believe, putting our pitchers in the best positions to have success."