The Philadelphia Phillies found a new way to stumble through their bullpen on Tuesday, and not a single pitch needed to be thrown.
The snafu came at the beginning of the seventh inning, when Phillies manager Joe Girardi called in reliever Enyel De Los Santos, who had been called up hours earlier, to take over for Aaron Nola. There was just one problem: De Los Santos apparently wasn't on the lineup card.
As a result, the umpires wouldn't let De Los Santos pitch, so Girardi had to call in David Hale instead.
The Phillies called up Enyel De Los Santos to pitch today but it was denied when umpires did not see his name on the lineup card pic.twitter.com/3iUDfX6TLY
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) May 5, 2021
The mix-up was bad news for a depleted Phillies bullpen, which already had closer Hector Neris and Connor Brogdon gassed due to recent usage, setup man Archie Bradley on the 10-day IL and Jose Alvarado suspended.
Hale ended up facing three batters without getting an out, allowing two singles and an HBP. Jojo Romero, who had appeared in three games over the last five games, was then called in, and allowed this three batters later:
— Bally Sports Wisconsin (@BallySportWI) May 5, 2021
That four-run seventh inning cut the Phillies' lead to 6-5. Fortunately, the team was able to hold on from there, winning 6-5 against the Milwaukee Brewers.
What happened to the Phillies' lineup card?
As bizarre as it sounds to have a team straight up forget to put a player on their lineup card, there seems to be a reasonable explanation for the mix-up.
For a long time, MLB teams would manually submit their lineup cards to umpires before the game. That recently changed, with the league instituting an automated system where the lineup card is auto-populated with names from the team's active roster. If the system does not register a recent transaction, however, a player could conceivably go missing from the lineup card.
We know this because pretty much the exact same thing happened in April with the Milwaukee Brewers. Manager Craig Counsell called in the recently called-up Angel Perdomo, who wasn't on the lineup card, leaving the Brewers to scramble for another arm.
Counsell told reporters after the game that the error came from the automated system, but it's the team's responsibility to catch any errors as the cards are submitted.
“Look, it's our mistake,” Counsell said. “It's an automated system now, that when you make a roster move, it's supposed to auto-populate the lineup [card]. But it's our responsibility to check the lineup. So for whatever reason it wasn't on the umpire lineup. It was on our other lineup card, but it wasn't on the one given to the umpires.”
Girardi confirmed that was the case after Tuesday's game:
"I'm livid with myself."
"Just stupid on my part."
Joe Girardi said he checked the card and missed that De Los Santos wasn't on there. Cristopher Sanchez was. He threw two scoreless for Triple-A Lehigh Valley tonight.
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) May 5, 2021
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