Jake Diekman had one hell of a major league debut on Tuesday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.
Did Charlie Manuel ease the rook into a situation where the Phillies had a comfortable lead and the kid could slowly step into the shallow end of the pool for his first swim? Nope. You don't have that luxury when your bullpen is under-performing as badly as the Phils. But Diekman pulled off a fantastic cannonball from the high dive today. [video below]
"I really thought I was going to have a four or five run lead or something like that," Diekman said of his first MLB opportunity.
As for what he was thinking about when coming in from the pen?
"I couldn’t feel my legs when I was running up to the mound. The first pitch was terrifying," he said.
"I had to make sure I didn't trip down the stairs first. And then, I had to make sure I made it all the way to the mound without tripping. That's the one thing that went through my head."
Stumble he did not. 1.1 innings of work, 3 strikeouts, and one major league win under his belt. I'd call that a stellar debut.
With that delivery, he may already be the Phillies best situational lefty. Perhaps more in time.