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Mackanin, Neshek clear the air

Manager says miscommunication led to not using reliever Wednesday
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

PHOENIX -- Pete Mackanin and Pat Neshek have had a strange week.

But both men said Thursday afternoon at Chase Field that there are no problems between them. Neshek did not pitch in Wednesday's 10-inning loss to the Cardinals. Mackanin said afterward that Neshek told him that he could not pitch, but Neshek denies he said that and that Mackanin told him before the game that he would not pitch.

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PHOENIX -- Pete Mackanin and Pat Neshek have had a strange week.

But both men said Thursday afternoon at Chase Field that there are no problems between them. Neshek did not pitch in Wednesday's 10-inning loss to the Cardinals. Mackanin said afterward that Neshek told him that he could not pitch, but Neshek denies he said that and that Mackanin told him before the game that he would not pitch.

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Then after throwing just five pitches in the eighth inning Thursday, Mackanin said he asked Neshek if he could pitch the ninth and Neshek said no. Neshek said he never said that.

There was a similar situation in Chicago in May, too.

So what's up, guys?

"We're good," Mackanin said. "He and I are good. We understand each other. I'd like to just let this thing go away. If there was some miscommunication, I'll put it on me. According to our conversation that we had, I assumed he was unavailable. And he was available."

"We laughed about it," Neshek said. "There's really nothing."

Neshek has been one of the team's only bright spots this season. He is 2-1 with a 0.61 ERA in 32 appearances. He entered the night leading National League relievers in ERA. He was third in WHIP (0.77) and opponents' on-base percentage (.218); and fourth in walks per nine innings (1.26) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (6.25).

Neshek struck out the side in the seventh inning of Friday's 6-1 win over the D-backs.

So is Neshek just a one-inning pitcher at this point? He has pitched more than one inning just once this season.

"When you have a good bullpen, you usually don't need guys to do that kind of stuff," Neshek said. "I mean, a lot of guys, you know, kind of have been struggling here, so you're going to have to pick it up if that's the case. But I mean, when you have a bullpen that's fully functional you'll never see that. In Houston we never had that problem so I never did that. St. Louis a couple times we had that problem.

"It's not an issue, man. Like I said, if it's the playoffs, yeah, you're going out two innings. When you're down 30 games in the standings and I'm tired. … I've been through Tommy John and it's not any fun and I don't ever want to have to go through that again, so I'm going to protect myself."

Neshek has pitched in eight of the past 12 games over a 13-day span

"There are guys saying he doesn't do back-to-backs," Neshek said. "I've done seven back-to-backs this year. Name another reliever in the last two weeks that has pitched seven out of 12 days. It just doesn't happen."

Said Mackanin: "I don't want to upset or lose something that's really working for us. If I push him, I'd hate for him to come up with something wrong with his arm. I'm more cautious with him than he would be with himself. I assumed from our conversation that he was unavailable, but I was wrong. Put it on me. It's not him at all."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies, Pat Neshek