Joe Savery, former top draft pick of the Phillies out of Rice University, reigning Eastern League pitcher of the week and current star pitcher for the Reading Phillies, started the rain stopped game in Trenton last night. Savery, who had a 9-1 record and a 3.24 ERA heading into last night's start, was displeased with the umpires' decision to start the game at all, and especially took issue with the umpiring crew's attempt to start the bottom of the 2nd inning, with intense amounts of rain coming down. Moments later, the game was suspended and will be resumed today at 5:05, prior to tonight's regularly scheduled contest. As Savery's encounter with the umpire was ending, Savery threw a baseball over the screen behind the back stop and into the stands.
The following are some of Joe's comments about the incident...
It probably wasn't the brightest idea in the world to do what I did. I shouldn't have done it, but...ya know, you don't get many outings in a year. In a minor league season, you get 27 or 28, I've already had two cut short, and to just to go out there and throw and inning, when I'm going good and I'm having a good June and to have it just cut off like that, when you feel like the information was there to have an idea that (the rain stoppage & game suspension) might happen is frustrating.
What were the umpires saying during the delays and when the rain restarted?
They were encouraging us to get out there. And you could kind of tell, when the inning turned over, and we didn't budge, they kind of had to usher us on the field. They were just trying to encourage us to get going and you could just feel it was going to be a futile effort to go out there and get loose 'cause it was coming.
Any feedback from the coaches about it yet?
(Small chuckle) I'll have to say no comment on that.
Do you expect to hear from the Eastern League on this matter?
You know, I hadn't even thought about it. If they do then...I did it and there's nothing really to argue there, so I'll just accept whatever they have to say and we'll move forward.
How does losing a full outing to rain effect your routine and preparation in between starts?
The hardest part is staying mentally focused, because the rain- you never know what it's gonna do. And you know the stuff you hear from the guys around here is always going to be on the encouraging side of things and so just trying to stay mentally there. I mean pitching is such a...you gotta get locked it and you gotta get focused. Ya know, to have it go back and forth it's the second start in a row, might be the third, that I've had a rain delay of some sort. Mentally, I'm glad I'm getting the work in, but physically it's starting to become frustrating. You just like to show up to the field and pitch your game and go on.
With the Phillies 5th starter Antonio Bastardo getting hurt, how much of your focus, in the back of your mind, might be on getting called up to the big club?
Being very frank, I don't think I have a snowball's chance of getting called up. Ya know, things have been going well, and I've been figuring some things out, but I still think that I've got some room to grow and think that (the higher ups) feel the same way. You never say never, but I'd fall on the floor if that happened right now. That's not something that I'm anticipating at all.
With your success this year, what more do you feel needs to be done to improve?
That's one of those things that I don't know as well as they do. That being the developmental side and the front office folks. They've been doing this a lot longer than I have and I've taken a little heat for the things I said after I got drafted, and I don't think those were necessary, 'cause I believe there's a difference between goals and saying how things are going to be. So I'm not going to take a guess at that. But my goal is to keep improving.
Is there anyone on the coaching staff you'd give credit to for helping you with your success thus far?
The 9-1 part is kind of just a roll of the dice. I've gone with our hitting. Basically the whole year. When we aren't scoring, I seem to hold back the other team long enough till we get a few runs. And when I don't pitch as well, we seem to hit the ball, so I've been able to align with those guys and it's kind of been funny how that's happened. Ya know, the coaching staff...what's hard about pitching is that there's not, most times there's not anything profound to say. It's just something that you have to get. It's like telling someone how to be respectful or be a good friend. It's something you can say things about, but until you understand what's going on and how to be successful there's only so much they can do. But I've been with (pitching coach Steve) Schrenk all of last year and then all of this year, so we've come to understand each other very well and there's a few things we've worked on and we understand what's it's going to take to be successful at this point.
Can I get some comments from you on being named Eastern League pitcher of the week?
Yeah, I kind fell into two wins there. And even though I pitched well, I only pitched 6 innings and 5 innings, so that's just a sign that things are moving in the right direction.
Who was your favorite player or pitcher growing up?
I was a football guy. I was a Brett Favre guy and football was my first love. I didn't really follow pitching a whole lot, pitching just kind of happened. But if there's one guy I follow now, I'd have to say Lance Berkman. He's a Rice guy and I kind of got to know him a little bit.