The pitcher Kapler wanted hadn’t even had time to warm up! This created an awkward scene where Kapler lingered around the mound while Milner tried to get some extra throws in, in the bullpen. Braves manager Brian Snitker didn’t like the delay and came out of his dugout to argue, and was eventually ejected by umpire crew chief Jerry Layne. Layne, for his part, was in an uncomfortable position, per ESPN:

“For whatever reason the pitcher wasn’t even getting ready,” Layne told a pool reporter. “Who got crossed up, I’m not placing blame on anybody because I don’t know. He just wasn’t ready. Hadn’t thrown a pitch. ... The last thing I want to do is get somebody hurt. It’s already a messed-up situation.”

Layne said a report would be sent to Major League Baseball.

“Whoever’s at fault on the Phillies’ side should have to answer to Major League Baseball,” Layne said.


Hard as it may be to believe, this was just the start of the madness Saturday. Velasquez left the Phillies in a bad seven run hole; Kapler used four relievers to get the Phillies from the third inning through the seventh, including two innings from Jake Thompson, who surrendered five more runs. With his bullpen already on fumes and the game well out of reach, Kapler turned to outfielder Pedro Florimon to pitch the ninth inning.


So, through three games, Kapler has set a major league record for most relievers used through the first two games of a season, and has already had to deploy a position player to finish a game. The Phillies have given up 27 runs. It’s early yet, but it’s not insignificant that that is a whole eight runs more than the next highest number in baseball. If nothing else, it is extremely hard to accept someone’s unorthodox and extravagant-seeming approach to pitching when it yields such abysmal results. Per Matt Gelb, after Saturday’s fiasco:

When asked about the inauspicious beginning to his managerial career, Kapler spoke for more than a minute about the “long view.” How he was thinking about New York. How his lineup is seeing so many pitches. How his hitters have put the fat part of the bat on the ball. How his rotation is filled with a couple of horses. How some of the young pitchers have limitless potential.

Then, he proclaimed his team would make the playoffs.

It’s awful hard to not roll your eyes at a manager who yanks his starter after 68 pitches and starts playing match-ups in the fifth inning of the second game of the season, who then espouses the long view after a catastrophic fuck-up. So Kapler’s long view involves the nightly deployment of an extremely short view? One that left the team without an available reliever before the end of the third game of the season? Yes, small sample size; yes, circumstances; yes, the Phillies—still, before people start to buy what Kapler is selling, they’ll need to see evidence that it is anything other than chaos.