Jun 17, 2015

Put A Little Frenchy Mustard On It

Jeff Francoeur
Philadelphia Phillies - Relief Pitcher (?)
Last night was not a fun time for the Fightins.  Phillies starter Jerome Williams gave up six runs in the 1st inning, staring with a leadoff home run to Manny Machado and ending with two runs scored on a passed ball in which Williams injured his leg trying to tag out the second runner.  There was no collision at the plate or anything like that.  Williams fell into a Johnny Cage split on the play and limped off of the field without getting out of the 1st inning.  Dustin McGowan came on in relief with two outs in the bottom of the first.  He managed to stay in through the end of the 4th inning, but he also gave up six runs, including another home run to Machado in the 2nd inning.

Fast forward to the 7th inning.  The Phillies were losing to the Orioles by a score of 17 - 3 when right fielder Jeff Francoeur was brought in to pitch.  Frenchy was a pitcher in high school and he pitched in eight games for the El Paso Chihuahuas last season, but the 30 year old right fielder had never pitched in a major league game.  Surprisingly, he started out pretty well.  He struck out a batter and set the Orioles down in the 7th, which ended up being the only inning that Baltimore didn't score.  However, they brought him back out in the 8th and he started to get hit around.

What happened next was just plain absurd.  The Phillies bullpen phone wasn't hung up properly.  Television cameras zoomed in to show that it was off the hook, so when pitching coach Bob McClure called to get someone else warmed up, no one answered.  His solution was to literally wave a white flag (towel) to his bullpen to get their attention.  Finally, McClure came out to the mound with his right fielder's pitch count approaching 50.  Chase Utley was furious and spent some of the mound visit yelling at the Phillies pitching coach for leaving Francoeur in the game and risking injury.  He ended up staying in the game, and with his 48th pitch, Frenchy got Chris Parmalee to fly out to Odubel Herrera to end the inning.  The Phillies would not score in the bottom of the 9th for the 19 - 3 loss.