CLEARWATER, Fla. - What do you call it when you enter an inning out of the bullpen and give up five straight hits, record only one out, and see seven runs tagged to your pitching line when it comes to an end?
"The worst outing in the history of the world," Jake Diekman said.
Diekman, one of the locks for a spot in the Phillies bullpen, got battered by the Yankees' bats in the fifth inning of yesterday's 10-0, rain-shortened Phillies loss. Diekman gave up a double to nine-hole hitter Brendan Ryan and then four straight singles before recording an out.
Seven of the eight batters he faced reached base and scored.
Diekman's ERA for the spring shot up to 12.27 after the ugly outing. He used the word "embarrassing" three times in describing it afterward.
"I fell behind in the counts, and then, when I threw strikes, they just put good swings on everything," Diekman said. "Unbelievable."
Diekman has allowed at least one run in four of his six appearances this spring. He's scheduled to go in back-to-back days for the first time when he returns to the mound today in Fort Myers.
"I think [Ken] Giles and Diekman are two guys that feed off of adrenaline in big-game situations," manager Ryne Sandberg said of his two hard-throwing relievers. "Maybe you can say that's lacking in a spring training game. I think both guys are fine. They are working on things."
Brown still sidelined
The likelihood that rightfielder Domonic Brown (left Achilles' tendinitis) begins the season on the disabled list increases with each passing day in Clearwater. Brown was out of the lineup for the eighth straight game.
"That's yet to be seen," Sandberg said of Brown's availability for Opening Day. "There's a lot of work to be done in a short amount of time, so that could be unlikely."
Brown has done some hitting work in recent days.
Cody Asche, meanwhile, missed his second straight game after being pulled from Thursday's lineup with back tightness. Sandberg said Asche could play in a minor league game today.
Zach Eflin, the righthanded pitching prospect the Phillies got in the Jimmy Rollins trade in December, will follow fellow prospect Aaron Nola and get his own big-league cameo Monday. Eflin is scheduled to start in Bradenton against the Pittsburgh Pirates . . . David Buchanan is on tap to pitch in a minor league game at the Carpenter Complex tomorrow . . . Yesterday's game was called with two outs in the top of the sixth inning after a rain delay.