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Phils learning to trust young bullpen in crucial situations this season

Horst, Diekman, Schwimer forced to log big innings due to injuries.

When the Phillies acquired Jeremy Horst from the Reds in the Wilson Valdez deal last January, the young left-handed reliever, envisioned helping the Phillies.

"I spoke with [GM] Ruben [Amaro] right after he made the trade and I told him that I'm looking forward to helping the team on the big-league level. I just didn't think I'd be with the Phillies this soon."

That goes for a number of other young Phillies, who spent most of their time in the minors last season. When Jake Diekman, 25 was among the final cuts in Clearwater, he was consoled by pitching coach Rich Dubee, who told the hard-throwing lefty that he wished he was his agent.

"I didn't think I would come up so soon, but a lot of things happened in the bullpen," Diekman said.

Michael Stutes and Jose Contreras have been on the injured list for most of the season. Chad Qualls was inconsistent and dealt to the Yankees.

"So there was some opportunity and I've done all that I can with it," Diekman said.

Charlie Manuel has been impressed with his young lefties. Horst actually picked up his first win in Sunday's dramatic, walk-off win over St. Louis. He pitched two scoreless frames, in the 10th and 11th innings.

"I like those young guys," Manuel said. "Horst has been doing great. He has real good numbers (1.13 ERA in 15 games). He's been really consistent. Diekman throws so hard. He's going to be a really good one. [Michael] Schwimer has been in bigger and bigger situations. It's a good sign. The kids are getting some action in the bullpen, and in the lineup."

 
 
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