PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Sometimes you have to make the best of a bad situation. No one hoped or expected that the 2013 Phillies would end the season 20 games under .500, that’s the bad situation. Reliever Jake Diekman found a way to make the best of it.
“A whole bunch of us young guys got a lot of—just maybe, put in situations where we normally wouldn’t be put in and it was just a great learning experience,” Diekman told 94WIP’s Anthony Gargano and Rob Ellis on Tuesday.
Diekman was one of the bright spots for an otherwise dark campaign in 2013 for the Phillies. He struck out 41 batters in 38.1 innings pitched, with an ERA of 2.58.
“Learning how to slow down the game, that’s the biggest thing when you get up there and you’re struggling. I mean, the game—oof. It’ll go super, super fast on you and before you know it you’ll have a guy on second and third and you’re like how did it happen? But yeah, just slowing down the game,” he said. “If a guy gets on knowing that, hey I’m a pitch or two away from a double play and that we’re out of this. That was the biggest thing, in my head, trying to slow the game down and just be composed.”
Diekman, like many of the Phillies, has come into Spring Training with a positive, “we can show the world” attitude.
“Yeah, I feel a lot more confident I would say. At the end of last year I felt great, it’s just a matter of going after hitters, attacking them and knowing that they’re going to get themselves out seven out of 10 times. So, if you just attack them and have them put the bat on it, most of the time they’re going to get themselves out.”