SAN FRANCISCO -- The moment the Phillies traded Ken Giles in December, more than a few Phillies fans wondered about the future of the ninth inning.Who the heck would close?The Phillies' potential future closer pitched a scoreless seventh inning Saturday night in a 3-2 victory over the Giants at AT&T
SAN FRANCISCO -- The moment the Phillies traded Ken Giles in December, more than a few Phillies fans wondered about the future of the ninth inning.
Who the heck would close?
The Phillies' potential future closer pitched a scoreless seventh inning Saturday night in a 3-2 victory over the Giants at AT&T Park. Phillies rookie right-hander Edubray Ramos, making the second big league appearance of his career, needed just 10 pitches to retire the side, coming up with a big shutdown inning after the Phillies scored three runs against Giants ace Madison Bumgarner in the top of the seventh.
"I'm pretty excited about what I saw, cautiously optimistic," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.
"That guy has got fire coming out of his hand," Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp said.
Ramos got Conor Gillaspie to pop out for the first out before striking out Gregor Blanco looking and Denard Span swinging on a foul tip. His fastball touched 96 mph. He showed a sharp breaking ball, too.
"For a guy to throw that hard and throw his breaking stuff and throwing everything for strikes and attack the hitter, that's pretty special," Mackanin said. "Hopefully that'll continue."
The Phillies are looking for effective late-inning relievers. While it is too early to be certain about Ramos, if he can pitch like he pitched Saturday, he could work himself into regular work late in the game.
They are looking for people.
Phillies right-hander David Hernandez has struggled recently, allowing runs in each of his previous four appearances. In fact, he got bumped out of his usual seventh-inning role Friday in favor of Severino Gonzalez and Elvis Araujo. But Hernandez pitched the eighth because setup man Hector Neris had pitched the past three days.
Hernandez allowed a leadoff single to Joe Panik, who advanced to second on a wild pitch. Hernandez then walked Buster Posey with one out to put runners on first and second. Brandon Crawford followed and ripped a line drive to left field.
Phillies left fielder Tyler Goeddel made a nice catch, which surprised Panik, who was on his way home. Goeddel threw to second to double up Panik to end the inning.
"Goeddel bailed us out," Mackanin said. "That could have been disastrous, obviously."
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.