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June 16, 2015

Phillies can't take Jeff Francoeur off the mound because bullpen phone was off the hook

Sometimes in sadness, you have to find humor. The Phillies might've hit rock bottom on Tuesday night in Baltimore, as the Orioles scored 17 runs and pounded out 16 hits in the first six innings. For the first time all game, the O's were held off the scoreboard in the 7th inning. The pitcher that pulled off the feat? Phillies right fielder (well, normally) Jeff Francoeur. 

Not only did Frenchy sit the Orioles down, he got a 1-2-3 inning. Last season with the El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego Padres' AAA affiliate), Francoeur moonlighted as a pitcher and submitted a respectable 3.68 ERA in 7.1 innings. From a pure stuff standpoint, you could argue he was one of the Phils' better pitchers on this evening. Check out the video of his strikeout of Nolan Reimold.

Francoeur's teammates initially certainly got a kick out of watching him on the mound. That wouldn't last long. He went on to throw a million pitches, allow two runs, and cause a frustrated Chase Utley to say a few bad words in the eighth inning, so the Phils were pretty much back to square one by the end of Frenchy's outing. They went on to lose the game, 19-3. 

Why was Utley frustrated? Presumably because his teammate threw 48 pitches, a number far too high for any position player. From the looks of things, the Phillies didn't take Francoeur out because the bullpen phone was off the hook. Yes, you read that correctly. They even had to wave towels from the dugout to get the bullpen's attention!

It's June 16th.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann