Phillies’ Winning Streak Ends, but Young Relievers Start to Shine

Drew Anderson really put his haters in their place when he pitched against a two-time American League MVP. The news that manager Pete Mackanin gave to interested fans after the Phillies lost their game against Los Angeles Tuesday night was that Anderson was heading back to Double-A Reading on Wednesday. The decision isn’t exactly going to affect the MLB betting odds for all Phillies games.

But, it is an interesting discussion point nonetheless. There is something to be said about the ability in young relievers that have to bring new life to teams that might be getting stale. Anderson is 23 years of age and he will remember that as the year when he made his Major League debut.

To pitch against Mike Trout makes his debut one of the better Major League debuts. And he got to share the moment with his parents and girlfriend, who watched the game at Angel Stadium. One can only assume that striking out a player like Trout gave Anderson the sort of rush everyone imagines.

He still looks excited and awestruck whenever he talks about the occurrence, and who wouldn’t be? Anderson has earned the right to be as giddy as he wants. While the Phillies were busy winning their game against the Atlanta Braves, Mackanin learned that his team had decided to trade Joaquin Benoit.

The Monday development worked in Anderson’s favor because neither Hector Neris nor Luis Garcia was available. He probably didn’t believe it when it fell on his shoulders to fill out the roster.

Anderson must have held his breath for a moment as Trout came up to bat before he proceeded to get the superstar to strike out on a foul tip. You know he will be regaling fans with the story for years to come, especially if his career doesn’t take the expected turn.

One must assume that Mackanin isn’t really worried too much about Anderson’s future. He has to be preoccupied with scrutinizing his team and trying to figure out the most effective way to deploy them. That means figuring out where they can best contribute.

Neris might benefit from having Benoit and Pat Neshek provide a bridge for him, though, the fact that they had few opportunities to prove their worth this season means that Mackanin might take a completely different approach.

Mackanin will probably start looking to the youngsters on the rosters to step up. It isn’t enough for them to show talent. Neris and his ilk must show that they can deliver consistency. Of course, if Mackanin wants to know what they can do, he needs to throw them into the action.

Jesen Therrien and Mark Leiter Junior will probably have their chance to shine, not to mention Adam Morgan and Hoby Milner.

Right now, all anyone cares about is the Phillies loss to the Los Angeles Angels. The Phillies’ winning streak is finally at an end, and the loss can be blamed on a weak offense that couldn’t get any momentum and too many stranded base runners.

Fortunately, Anderson’s strikeout gives Phillies fans a few things to celebrate.

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