Phillies Notebook: Aumont shows he's a workhorse

Cliff Lee, who got the win Wednesday, praised Phillippe Aumont's strength and work ethic.
Cliff Lee, who got the win Wednesday, praised Phillippe Aumont's strength and work ethic. (MICHAEL BRYANT / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)
Posted: September 14, 2012

PHILLIPPE AUMONT following Cliff Lee in a game? Just another day in the life of your 2012 Phillies, who hope that the strangest chapter of this peculiar season has yet to be written.

Aumont, who joined the Phillies in December 2009 in the trade that shipped Lee to Seattle, has quickly developed a significant role in the comeback attempt as one of Charlie Manuel's top options in the late innings of tight games. In a 3-1 win over the Marlins on Wednesday, the hulking righthander pitched a scoreless eighth to set up Jonathan Papelbon for his 34th save. It was Aumont's fourth appearance in 4 days (he pitched in both games of Sunday's doubleheader against the Rockies).

In nine appearances, Aumont has allowed one run on four hits with nine strikeouts and four walks in 8 1/3 innings.

"When you get on a good roll, you feel comfortable and confident out there," Aumont said. "After my debut, you get out of that inning and the nerves are gone. It becomes the same game and trust your catcher and defense. Not trying to go out there and blow everyone away. Let the defense be part of it too and everyone contributes to winning as a team."

Lee, who wasn't exactly thrilled 3 years ago when he learned the Phillies had dealt him to the Mariners, had a glowing report on Aumont, the only one of the three players acquired by the team to appear in the major leagues thus far.

"He's a big guy, throws really hard, really good curveball," Lee said. "He's done everything that's been asked of him so far. I expect him to be a huge part of our bullpen for several years to come."

Ruiz update

One night after putting Carlos Ruiz in the starting lineup for the first time since early August, Charlie Manuel said he hopes that the veteran catcher will be behind the plate again during the Phillies' four-game series in Houston, which starts Thursday.

"He's doing OK, he's doing fine," the manager said. "He might catch 2 days from now."

Ruiz has been hobbled by plantar fasciitis, a condition that is not expected to heal until the offseason. The Phillies' original plan called for Ruiz to catch once or twice a week. Of course, that was when the playoffs were an afterthought. Now, the Phillies can certainly use Ruiz and his .340/.406/.563 batting line whenever he is able enough to play.

Mayberry surging

One of the big factors behind the Phillies' recent success has been the play of John Mayberry Jr., who spent most of the first 4 months of the season shuttling between outfield positions and struggling at the plate. Since the July 31 trades that sent Shane Victorino to the Dodgers and Hunter Pence to the Giants, Mayberry is hitting .299 with a .388 on base percentage, seven home runs and nine doubles. On Wednesday, his line-drive single to centerfield in the bottom of the sixth inning tied the game at 1-1.

Phillers

Outfielder Juan Pierre's 13 sacrifice hits this year are the most for a Phillie in a single season since Larry Bowa had 17 in 1975 . . . Marlins leftfielder Justin Ruggiano was ejected by home-plate umpire Clint Fagan for questioning a called third strike in the second inning.


Contact Dave Murphy at dmurphy@phillynews.com.

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