Phillies Notes: Phillies rookie Aumont shocked to get call over Papelbon

Posted: September 04, 2012

CINCINNATI - The call was placed by Rich Dubee and answered in right field by Mick Billmeyer. "Phil, you got it," said Billmeyer, the Phillies bullpen coach.

Phillippe Aumont, 23 years old and a veteran of three major-league innings, was shocked. The ninth inning of a Phillies' 4-2 victory belonged to Jonathan Papelbon, he figured. But Papelbon had pitched in four of the last six days and warmed up on the other two. He needed rest and it was Aumont's chance to close.

"My knees almost buckled," Aumont said.

It was not the smoothest of saves, but Aumont recorded three outs without three runs scoring to seal the victory. He was the youngest Phillies pitcher to record a save since 21-year-old Fabio Castro in 2006.

Aumont permitted two singles, one of which scored a run. Todd Frazier, one of the National League's top rookies, batted as the potential tying run. Aumont leaped ahead with two curveballs for strikes but Frazier battled to a full count.

On the seventh pitch, he tapped one in front of the mound.

"I grabbed that ball and it was soaked," Aumont said.

He did not know how he gripped it - maybe a palm ball - but it landed in Ryan Howard's glove for the third out.

Said Aumont: "I was just like, 'Get it to Howard. Just get it to Howard. It doesn't matter how you do it, just get it to him.'"

Aumont's performance followed fellow young reliever Justin De Fratus, who pitched a scoreless eighth. Manager Charlie Manuel routinely gushes about Aumont's raw potential. Control issues have prevented him from rising. Trial by fire came Monday.

"That's kind of a tough spot to be in," Manuel said. "But at the same time, you know, you got to get out there some time."

More additions

Infielder Pete Orr will join the Phillies on Tuesday as a September call-up. His promotion fills the 40-man roster.

Triple-A Lehigh Valley manager Ryne Sandberg and his pitching coach, Rod Nichols, will also spend the remainder of 2012 with the Phillies.

The IronPigs were rained out Monday in their final game of 2012. Michael Schwimer and Joe Savery, both of whom spent considerable time in the majors, were passed over for September recalls. The Phillies want to see other relievers.

Sunday scoring

The Phillies will pursue a scoring change from Sunday's 8-7 loss to Atlanta with the commissioner's office. Martin Prado's grounder to third that bounced off Kevin Frandsen's glove was ruled a double instead of an error. Afterward, Frandsen was steadfast in saying it was a play he should have made.

If it's changed, three earned runs will be erased from Papelbon's ledger and two from Jeremy Horst's.

Extra bases

Domonic Brown (left knee soreness) made his first start in five games and went 0 for 4. . . . Cincinnati is expected to activate former MVP Joey Votto (knee surgery) for Tuesday's game. . . . Kyle Kendrick, riding a hot streak, starts Tuesday opposite Mat Latos. Kendrick has a 4.01 ERA in 1252/3 innings (19 starts). Wednesday's starter, Roy Halladay, has a 4.02 ERA in 130 innings (20 starts). . . . Double-A Reading clinched a postseason berth on the final day of the Eastern League regular season. They are the only Phillies minor-league affiliate to qualify for the playoffs.

Contact Matt Gelb at or follow on Twitter @magelb.

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