They say a lot of things about pitching, but “needing a back” is one of the things they tell you on the first day.
Mike Adams still has his back, but unfortunately, it’s trembling and twitching all over the place. Adams was waiting for Jonathan Papelbon to show up yesterday so he could make sure somebody would be able to throw in his stead. Paps, having just gone through the trauma of a five-out save, was not necessarily going to be available.
But Papelbon was more than happy to throw, giving Adams a break so his back could finish doing whatever it was doing.
So it was without their set-up man that the Phillies entered the eighth inning, needing a hold. They got one from Jeremy Horst, who struck out two, in a more successful outing than Adams has been able to manage recently.
After the game was tied, a Bastardo-De Fratus cocktail finished the ninth, giving way to Papelbon in the tenth, who again, after recording a longer save than usual, had his life hanging in the balance.
An unforgivable offense, per Chris Wheeler, but one that got the Phillies a victory all the same. No word yet on the spasming back of Adams, who at least has the day off before another a weird two-game series with the Indians requires his attention and spine.