In between, I crunched numbers.
(I also showered.)
Here is what I found:
The Phillies entered Friday’s opener against the Mets with 19 saves in 32 opportunities this season. Their 59.4 save completion percentage ranked 23rd in baseball.
The Phillies had 47 saves in 62 opportunities last season. Their 75.8 save completion percentage ranked fourth in baseball. Before you ask, while Brad Lidge went 41 for 41 in save opportunities last year, pitchers can blow saves in the seventh or eighth innings, too, which accounted for last season’s blown saves.
That is a remarkable drop. The Phillies blew just 15 saves last season. They have blown 13 this season.
The Phillies have not had a worse save completion percentage since 1998, when they saved just 57.1 percent of their games (32-for-56). That team finished 75-87 and third in the National League East.
The closer that year? Mark Leiter.
The Phillies designated Jack Taschner for assignment. He went 1-1 with a 5.20 ERA in 21 appearances. The Phillies could have optioned him, but they said they wanted to do him a favor and give him the opportunity to join another team and pitch elsewhere in the Majors.
Taschner had a 3.74 ERA through June 10, but once J.C. Romero returned, Taschner pitched less and less and got rustier and rustier. The Phillies have 10 days to dispose of his contract. He can be traded, claimed on waivers, released or sent to the minors if he clears waivers.
Taschner not only is a fellow Wisconsinite, but he’s a good guy. I wish him well.