The Philadelphia Phillies rookie starter, Ben Lively could be the bright spark in an otherwise dismal season...
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Ben Lively could be the spark the team needs to pull out of their season-long slump. In his first major league start, Lively went seven innings, giving up one run on four hits and earning the win. Of his 91 pitches, the 6-foot-4, 190-pound Lively threw 61 of them for strikes. Although he had no strikeouts, his change-ups and 91 to 93 mph fast balls kept the Giants off balance. The second of his 2 at-bats was a single to center in the fifth.
Lively’s combined record last season with AA-Reading and AAA-Lehigh Valley was 18-5, with an ERA of 2.69. This season, before being called up by the Phillies he was 6-1 for Lehigh Valley with a 2.40 ERA.
Actually, this was Lively’s third time with the Phillies this season. In April, he joined the bullpen, but didn’t pitch. He rejoined the team last month during the doubleheader with Washington, but again did not pitch.
When asked about being nervous in his major league debut, he said “after that first pitch, it was the same old baseball on the mound.” He said being around the team helped him feel a little more comfortable Saturday. “I got used to being with these guys in Spring Training and in regular-season games,” he said. “It definitely settled me in a little better.
Lively is the first Phillies starter to get the win in his debut since Jerad Eickhoff on August 21, 2015. Ans he’s the first Phillies starter to go seven innings with four or less hits and one or less runs in his debut since Gavin Floyd on September 3, 2004.
Phillies manager, Pete Mackanin said Lively pitched like a veteran. “The thing that impressed me the most is he showed no fear. From the first pitch on, he pitched like he belonged here. Needless to say, Lively is my favorite pitcher.”