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Diekman becoming reliable lefty out of 'pen

Diekman becoming reliable lefty out of 'pen

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PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies are looking for relief pitchers, and left-hander Jake Diekman has been making his case to be in the 2014 bullpen.

Diekman struck out the only two batters he faced in the eighth inning in Saturday's 6-5 victory over the Braves at Citizens Bank Park. Entering play Sunday, he had allowed five hits, one run, two walks and struck out a remarkable 18 in 11 2/3 innings in his last 12 appearances.

Diekman has touched as high as 99 mph on the home radar gun. In fact, according to FanGraphs, Diekman's average fastball velocity is third best among Phillies pitchers from 2002-13. His fastball his first two seasons in the big leagues has averaged 95.4 mph, which trails only Billy Wagner (96.7 mph) and Felix Rodriguez (95.6 mph). Wagner pitched for the Phillies from 2004-05. Rodriguez made 23 appearances for the Phillies in 2004.

Interestingly, five of the pitchers in the top 10 have pitched for the Phillies this season: B.J. Rosenberg (94.8 mph) is fourth; Phillippe Aumont (94.7 mph) is tied with Francisco Rosario for fifth; J.C. Ramirez (94.1 mph) is ninth; and Luis Garcia (94.0 mph) is 10th.

And for those interested, of the 128 pitchers available to FanGraphs, former Phillies infielder John McDonald ranked last at 78.3 mph. Jamie Moyer ranked 127th with an 81.2 mph fastball.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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