In dealing with a vast amount of injuries over the course of the 2007 season the Phillies were forced to get creative in the transactions department. They took flyers on pitchers like Jose Mesa, Kane Davis and Kyle Lohse and reverted to their farm system to call up the likes of Kyle Kendrick and Mike Zagurski. Their most productive move involved claiming JC Romero off of waivers from the Red Sox on June 22nd.
The former Twins and Angels reliever kicked off his 2007 campaign with Boston, appearing in 23 games and stranding 13 of his 15 inherited runners. Unhappy with his penchant for giving up walks the Red Sox put him on the waiver wire. Desperately seeking bullpen help the Phillies quickly snatched him up.
Romero was in uniform on June 29th, a day consisting of a day/night doubleheader between the Phillies and Mets. Due to a depleted starting rotation–Freddy Garcia hurt, Jon Lieber hurt, Brett Myers now the closer–the Phillies called on waiver claim JD Durbin to pitch in game one. Durbin struck out the side in the first inning but gave up six runs over 4.2 innings en route to a loss. He definitely did not live up to his nickname – “The Real Deal.”
The nightcap, also resulting in a Phillies loss, saw Romero make his debut: a one inning performance equipped with a hit, two walks, and two strikeouts.
The next day, June 30th, saw the Phillies end their four-game set with the Mets; again they lost. The starting pitcher in this game was the recently called up prospect JA Happ. Being in attendance of this game I witnessed Happ struggle, giving up five runs in just 4+ innings. Following 2.2 solid innings from Ryan Madson, Romero made his second Phillies appearance by striking out Carlos Delgado to end the seventh inning.
If you have not noticed, the Phillies debuted three pitchers in a 27-hour span named JA, JC, and JD. Regardless of how tremendous Romero proved to be down the stretch–36.1 IP, 15 H, 5 ER, 20/26 inherited runners stranded, and the 6th best Clutch score for relievers with 40+ games–have you ever heard of a name coincidence as insane as this? Three new pitchers all debuting within two days of games, for the same team, with name abbreviations of JA, JC, and JD.
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