Date/Place of game: July 24, 2010 / Coca-Cola Park in
Final game score: Lehigh Valley 6, Norfolk 4
Michael Schwimer's game line
Michael Schwimer is still just in his second full-season of pro ball after being drafted by the Phillies in the 14th round of the 2008 Draft out of the University of Virginia. He's also in his first month of Triple-A ball with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs after opening the season at Double-A Reading and being promoted to Lehigh Valley after going 5-3, 3.60 in 32 games with the R-Phils.
As for his role, both at Reading and Lehigh Valley, Schwimer doesn't really care what role he plays out of the bullpen, which is a good thing, because he's been used in very different situations. In his latest outing with Lehigh Valley, Schwimer went 2 2/3 innings, allowing just one hit and striking out three, but he wasn't a happy man after the outing.
"I was a little upset at giving up that double with runners on-base," said Schwimer with a very obvious tinge of self-disappointment in his voice. "I think as a reliever, the most important stat is inherited runners scored and I gave both of those up, so I wasn't happy about that."
On the season, Schwimer has allowed five of the 11 runners [46%] that he's inherited to score. To compare that number, the major league average this season for inherited runners scoring is 32%. It's worth noting though, that the two runners that Schwimer allowed to score in Saturday night's game against Norfolk, were the first two inherited runners that he had at Triple-A. While he was at Double-A, Schwimer allowed 33% (3-of-9 runners) to score, putting him right around the average mark. Last season, Schwimer allowed just 30% (8-of-27) of his inherited runners to score.
In the outing that we scouted, Schwimer was throwing generally in the low-90s, but pumped himself up to 94 on a couple of occasions when he needed to put something extra on a pitch. Of his 33 pitches, 22 were for strikes and he recorded two groundouts, two flyouts and three strikeouts in the game. Schwimer entered the game in the top of the sixth inning, with runners on first and second and one out. In the midst of striking out the first hitter he faced, he uncorked a wild pitch to put runners on second and third. Facing Brandon Snyder, who Schwimer is well familiar with, having known him since the two were about 15 years old, Schwimer lost the battle to his old buddy and gave up a two-run double that cut Lehigh Valley's lead from 6-2 to 6-4.
Snyder hit a slider that Schwimer wanted to be low and away and possibly even in the dirt, but instead, the pitch turned out to be very hittable and resulted in two runs for Norfolk. "I went change-up, fastball, slider to get him one-and-two and my thought process was, it's going to be down and away or in the dirt," said Schwimer. "It just came out of my hand wrong and wound up right down the middle with no break on it and he did what he's supposed to do." While the double was tough to bear for Schwimer, he responded well and strick out Adam Donachie to get out of the inning.
From there, Schwimer took over the game, retiring the next six hitters in order and preserving Lehigh Valley's 6-4 edge. Closer Scott Mathieson came on in the ninth and notched his 20th save, setting a season and career-high for the IronPigs franchise.
Schwimer noted that some of the more veteran relievers on the club have provided strong guidance for him, especially since he's arrived at Lehigh Valley. "I can go up to them and ask them anything. They probably get annoyed with me for asking so many questions, but they're absolutely great, especially Mathieson," stressed the 24 year-old right-hander.
The plan for Schwimer is to just pitch, no matter what role he's in. "I want the ball. To be honest with you, I just want to pitch as much as possible. Whether it's up or down by ten runs, a one-run game; I just want to pitch."
Schwimer has a good arsenal of pitches and doesn't let himself get too high or too low on the mound. He has a great mentality for a reliever and realizes that there are still things that he needs to do better and he's willing to put in the work to perfect himself. That's one of the reasons why he "annoys" the more veteran pitchers more than others might and it's also one of the things that will make him a good reliever in the majors. He locates his pitches well and has good, late movement on them and can make hitters look pretty bad, especially with his slider.
Michael Schwimer's career stats