Diekman's long-awaited debut results in win
Phillies reliever retires all four batters before club walks off
PHILADELPHIA -- Jake Diekman had to wait a few days, but he finally made his Major League debut. It was a memorable one, to say the least, and occurred in a high-leverage situation.
Diekman, who was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Friday, retired all four batters he faced and earned his first win in the big leagues in Tuesday's 4-3 win over the Astros.
"I don't think I could ever have dreamed about getting the win in my debut," Diekman said. "That's pretty crazy."
With Jonathan Papelbon unavailable, Chad Qualls was brought in for the ninth inning with the Phillies holding a 3-1 lead. Four hits and an error later, the game was tied. Antonio Bastardo was also unavailable, and so Diekman, the rookie, entered with runners on second and third and two outs.
"Nope, not at all," Diekman said, when asked if he'd imagined making his debut in that type of scenario. "I really thought I was going to have like a four- or five-run lead or something like that."
Diekman said he couldn't feel his legs when he was running to the mound.
"When I got put in, I had to make sure I didn't trip down the stairs first," Diekman said. "And then, I just wanted to make it all the way to the mound without tripping. That's the one thing that went through my head."
Any nerves he might have had didn't show, however, as Diekman more resembled a veteran than a rookie. The 6-foot-4 lefty, using a mix of a fastball that touched 93-95 mph and a slider, struck out Astros shortstop Marwin Gonzalez to end the ninth and send the game to extra innings.
Diekman came back out for the 10th inning and retired the side in order, striking out two more hitters.
"Diekman came in and did a heck of a job," manager Charlie Manuel said.
"He's got unbelievable stuff, so I expect a lot more of that," Cliff Lee said.
Diekman, 25, was promoted to aid a struggling bullpen. In 13 appearances with Lehigh Valley, he went 1-0 with a 0.59 ERA and five saves. After his callup on Friday, Diekman phoned his father, who cried upon hearing the news.
Diekman had not yet spoken to his father before talking to reporters after his big win. What would he say when he did?
"I got a ball for you," Diekman said with a smile.
Manuel ejected for second time in 2012
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was ejected for the second time this season in the eighth inning of Tuesday's 4-3 win against the Astros.
With a 1-2 count, Philadelphia starter Cliff Lee threw a curveball that struck out Astros catcher Jason Castro, but the ball bounced past catcher Brian Schneider to the backstop. Castro reached first base safely on the dropped third strike.
Manuel argued with home-plate umpire Bob Davidson and was ejected. The Phils' skipper then walked out of the dugout and onto the field to hold a brief screaming match with Davidson.
The argument appeared to stem from Manuel being upset about Davidson inadvertently interfering with Schneider's path to the ball, though the manager wouldn't discuss it following the game.
"That's between Bob and I," Manuel said. "I don't need to say that."
At new position, Galvis settling in nicely
PHILADELPHIA --- The questions about whether Freddy Galvis was ready to hit Major League pitching have been quelled.
Since starting his career 0-for-12, Galvis has heated up. Starting at second base for Chase Utley while he continues to rehab his left knee, Galvis is hitting .260 since his slow start and has a .300 average in May. In his past five games, the 22-year-old Venezuelan is 8-for-18 (.444) with four of his 11 extra-base hits.
Galvis is third on the team with 15 RBIs, behind only right fielder Hunter Pence and catcher Carlos Ruiz.
From his usual eighth spot in the lineup, Galvis went 3-for-4 with two RBIs in Monday's 5-1 win against the Astros.
Taking the advice of manager Charlie Manuel, Galvis said he's trying to be more relaxed at the plate. Manuel said after Monday's game that Galvis had previously been a little anxious. He is now slowing his body down during his swing.
"He was hitting fly balls mostly because he was digging under," Manuel said. "Right now, like [Monday], he had a good night where he popped some balls."
Though playing second base is new to him -- he came up through the system as a shortstop -- Galvis has played great defense. He's second in baseball with a .875 zone rating, which measures a player's efficiency in fielding ground balls hit to his position, and he said he feels like he's "been playing second base for a long time."
"I just try to do my job, try to play for the team," Galvis said. "I just try to play hard every day."
Placido Polanco became the 10th player to pick up his 2,000th career hit in a Phillies uniform, and the first since Dale Murphy in 1991. ... Entering Tuesday's game, the Phils' Nos. 5-8 hitters had hit a combined .364 on the current homestand. ... Phillies starting pitchers entered Tuesday leading the big leagues in innings (238 2/3) and strikeouts (209). They also are tied for the lead in quality starts (27) and rank third in ERA (2.98).
Jake Kaplan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.