Tommy Hunter: 24 G, 24 2⁄3 IP, 22 H, 11 R, 6 BB, 25 K, 4.01 ERA (3.31 FIP)
Adam Morgan: 17 G, 13 IP, 14 H, 8 R, 6 BB, 16 K, 5.54 ERA (5.11 FIP)
David Hale (w/ Phillies): 6 G (2 GS), 11 IP, 15 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 7 K, 4.09 ERA (4.55 FIP)
On the surface, Tommy Hunter’s numbers aren’t that bad. The low FIP is a little more indicative of what the ERA should be like, but it is what it is. He struck out a lot of guys, didn’t walk too many and was generally pretty reliable in what he was going to give the team when he was summoned from the bullpen.
Then you can look at how he performed in stressful situations. Looking at his more advanced numbers, Hunter had an average leverage index of 1.372 (1 being average), meaning he was leaned upon during those innings that were getting hairy. He inherited 14 runners on the year, only allowing 2 to score for an inherited runner scored percentage of 14%. That was somewhat surprisingly in the top third of all relievers who threw at least 20 innings in 2020.
Adam Morgan, when used to face lefties, still did the job pretty well against them in 2020, limiting them to a .200/.294/.400 line (don’t look at the line against righties after lunch).
David Hale started a few games!
It’s not that they were bad; they just weren’t that good. Are they the same thing?
There were definitely pitchers in the Phillies’ bullpen this year where you didn’t want them entering the game in any kind of situation, much less one where the game was still in doubt.
Morgan should be praying to the baseball gods that Rob Manfred reverses the three batter minimum rule soon because he should never be allowed to face a right-handed hitter again (seriously, almost a 400 point difference in OPS between LHB and RHB). Hale was just...eh. Nothing serious to write home about, but also not so inoffensive that you would have been excused for wanting to see the team bring him back on an arbitration determined salary just so they had some bodies to fill the bullpen.
It’s Tommy Hunter that gets a lot of the scorn. You may recall when the team won a game, Hunter came on an interview and vigorously defended his teammates in the bullpen.
“That’s the thing, man,” he said. “I come in every day like everyone else. We want to win the baseball game at the end of the day. There are no days that we come in that we want to work harder than what we’re giving. That’s the thing: We’re giving everything we have. Sorry it wasn’t good enough. But it’s not like we’re giving more now because we’ve been getting a little bit of heat. We’re the same guys showing up every day with the same mindset and the results are just working for us now.”
For some reason, that interview didn’t sit well with a lot of people.
Does Tommy Hunter have the right to be “pissed off” for the heat that the Phillies bullpen has received so far this season?— The Anthony Gargano Show (@975Middays) August 26, 2020
I don’t know. Maybe it was that comment that made Phillies fans not like him.
Or maybe it was this.
You know, those pesky situations where pitching well could’ve helped the team. I don’t know, could just be us as fans.
Like I said prior, it’s not as though Hunter was bad. He just showed time and again how “unclutch” he could actually be, regardless of what the raw numbers say.
They’re all gone.
Maybe one or two of them come back on a minor league deal, but their candle has been blown out.