Phillies turn to Neris to shut door on Mets

Righty gets latest chance to close after Gomez, Benoit had previously struggled

Phillies turn to Neris to shut door on Mets

NEW YORK -- Hector Neris got so excited about his save Thursday night at Citi Field that he forgot to thank his catcher.

Forgive him. He has little experience closing. But Neris did the job in a 6-4 victory over the Mets as Phillies manager Pete Mackanin searches for the right person to pitch the ninth after Jeanmar Gomez lost the job after just three appearances and Joaquin Benoit blew a save Sunday in Washington.

So does this mean the Phillies have a new closer?

"No," Mackanin said. "As I said originally, I'm not naming anybody the closer. I was going to use Benoit for the time being. It just occurred to me: It's nice to have two guys who can close. It was a good opportunity for me to use Neris. He came through very well."

So then it's a closer by committee?

"I don't want to name it anything," Mackanin said. "You hear it a lot these days, about how pitchers are being used differently with different teams. I just look at it like this: It's nice to have two guys I trust in the eighth and the ninth. I trust both of those guys. I just seized the opportunity to try it tonight.

"I'll probably use Neris again. But it's nice to have somebody when one guy's not available, the other guy is."

It was Neris' third career save. He got Curtis Granderson to line out to Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera to end the game. Neris began walking to the outfield to celebrate with his teammates when he heard catcher Andrew Knapp yell, "Hey, man, what about me?"

It is customary for pitcher and catcher to greet each other following the game's final out.

"Before Torito caught the ball," Neris said about Herrera, "I had to be sure first. And then, ah, he got it."

Asked if he wants more opportunities to close, Neris said, "I like pitching no matter what the situation. If he gives me the opportunity in the ninth, I'll take it. In the eighth, I'll take it. In the first, I'll take it. Pete makes the decision and when he calls to the bullpen, I'm ready for him."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.