Hector Neris doesn't usually pitch in the eighth inning or when the Phillies are trailing by four runs.
Turns out, there was an explanation.
Neris confirmed to a team spokesperson that he has elected to drop his appeal of a three-game suspension for throwing at David Freese in a July 16 game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The closer will begin serving his suspension Thursday in the series finale against the San Francisco Giants.
“You have to ask Hector about this, but my understanding is he plans to drop his appeal and we wanted to get an inning of work for him,” manager Gabe Kapler said after Tuesday night’s 5-1 loss to the Giants. “We thought that would keep him fresh or keep him sharp. Additionally, we knew it would save somebody else’s arm with him having three days down.”
Neris left the Phillies' clubhouse without commenting.
The incident with Freese occurred after Neris gave up a go-ahead three-run homer to Dodgers pinch-hitter Matt Beaty. He hit Freese with a pitch in the upper back and was promptly ejected from the game.