Posts Tagged Lehigh Valley IronPigs
I think the saddest thing in professional baseball, no matter what level, is to see a pitcher walk to the dugout amid a chorus of boos and catcalls. Such was the case last night after reliever Phillippe Aumont snatched defeat out of the mouth of a victory thought certain thanks to a 5-inning, 1-hit performance by starter Zach Miner and a brilliant 2-homer Major League debut by designated hitter Tyler Henson.
Aumont came into the 9th inning with a 4-2 lead and got the lead-off batter to pop up for the first out. But he then gave up three straight singles and walked former IronPig Jermaine Mitchell (warned you, didn’t I?) to give up a run and cut the lead to 1. Brundage took Aumont out at that point, but Jay Johnson came in to issue bases-load walks for the tying and winning runs.
As Aumont walked off the mound toward the dugout, he was greeted with a loud chorus of boos and catcalls from the stands. Instead of reacting coolly like a veteran player would, he jawed back at the crowd at first, then settled into what I call a “f— you smile” before disappearing into the dugout. I was reminded immediately of the treatment Dominic Brown got during his tenure here, when he was dropping balls left and right in the outfield and similarly lost. Brown snapped out of it and went on to become a hero in Philly and an All-Star in his first season on the team. Can Aumont do the same?
I think he can, but I don’t think he can do it here — or anywhere in the Philadelphia system. It’s tempting to say he should be sent down to Reading, but that would only contribute to the “head case” he’s become of late. Moving him back to Philly under the tutelage of coaches there is useless, because he already got their advice and rejected it. Send him to Clearwater for a while to clear his head? I don’t think that will help either. The Phillies either need to trade him, sell him or give him away.
Frankly, who’s going to want him at this point? It may come down to giving him his outright release, though I hope it doesn’t come to that. I hope there’s a manager somewhere who sees Phillippe as a reclamation project and takes a chance on him. He has the right stuff, that’s for sure. He just needs to put it all together, and that, I think, is all a matter of a new way of thinking.
In the meantime, the IronPigs lost a game they absolutely should have won. The loss spoiled Tyler Henson’s fantastic Major League debut as he hit two home runs to give Lehigh Valley what should have been an insurmountable lead. Miner should have gotten a win for his brilliant 1-hit performance and the bullpen once again — including Rosenberg, Robles and Johnson as well as Aumont — came up short.
I hate to say “I told you so” (no I don’t!), but trading Jermaine Mitchell is already proving to be a mistake. Forget that Phillies’ center fielder Ben Revere went on the DL right after Mitchell was traded. Jermaine is now coming back to haunt the ‘Pigs. He had a hit and a walk in his 3 at-bats last night, the latter cutting the IronPigs’ lead to one run in the 8th inning. Good for J-Mitch. Bad for us.