Pat Neshek, the Phillies lone representative in the All-Star Game, impressed on the national stage as he threw a scoreless inning for the National League.
Since the collapse of the Phillies in the last several years, they have gotten little representation in the All-Star Game. They have had just one All-Star each year since 2014. The last time multiple Phils were selected, it was Cliff Lee and Domonic Brown – remember him? – back in 2013.
This year, the nod for the game went to reliever Pat Neshek, who the team acquired during the offseason for cash considerations. He was considered a small acquisition as a righty specialist and/or middle reliever.
Instead, Neshek wound up being the best reliever in Philadelphia’s bullpen this year. He posted a 1.27 ERA in 38 games with 36 strikeouts and just five walks in 35.1 innings. So far this year he has been a stable piece in otherwise volatile relief corps.
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Thanks to his standout work as a reliever – and the fact that each team needs one representative – Neshek was selected to represent his team in the All-Star Game in Miami. When you compare him to some of the other pitchers on the National League roster – Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, and Kenley Jansen just to name a few – it seems like he doesn’t quite stand up to these other pitchers.
However, Neshek took the opportunity and seized it Tuesday. Joe Maddon called on Neshek early, plugging him in during the second inning to take over from Scherzer. Neshek gave up a lone hit, but he didn’t walk any batter nor give up a run to a potent American League lineup. Bryce Harper helped out Neshek, tracking down a difficult fly ball to make the third out of the inning.
Neshek made a great case for himself on the national stage. He is easily the team’s biggest trade chip with an expiring contract and All-Star worthy performance this season. His solid work in Miami could certainly help build his value and make a case for another team to want him with the trade deadline coming up at the end of the month.