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Published: Sunday, 4/22/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

A memorable day for Nevin, Weber

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Mud Hens manager Phil Nevin enjoyed the start of his workday Saturday.

Before Toledo's contest against Columbus, Nevin got word that Thad Weber would be called up to Detroit for the Tigers' evening contest against Texas.

"It was an emotional time," Nevin admitted. "Thad is the only guy who has been with me from Day 1 -- every day in Erie [in 2009] and every day here last year and this year.

"[Getting a chance to tell him he was going to the majors] was one of the reasons I love what I'm doing."

Weber was 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA for the Mud Hens this season, allowing just five hits and two walks while striking out 15 in 12 innings. Those numbers are a reversal from last season, when the 27-year-old was 5-11 with a 5.65 ERA in 27 starts for the Hens.

"He wasn't a first-round pick -- he has had to work for everything he's gotten," Nevin said. "To be able to let him know [he was getting called up] was special."

While Nevin was happy for Weber, the promotion further scrambles the Mud Hens' pitching situation. When Shawn Teufel is promoted from Hi-A Lakeland to start for the Mud Hens today against Columbus, he will become Toledo's ninth different starter in the team's 17th game.

"That's tough on a bullpen," Nevin admitted. "Our bullpen has been used a lot. It's getting harder and harder to rest them.

"[Chris] Bootcheck has been used a lot, [Rob] Waite has been used a lot. We're trying to find ways to rest them."

Here's how scrambled things have been for Toledo pitching: Entering Saturday's contest the Hens bullpen had thrown 72 innings, posting a 3.38 ERA. Meanwhile the Mud Hens' starters have covered just 61⅔ innings and have a 3.65 ERA.

To put those innings totals in perspective, Columbus starters had covered 85⅔ innings entering last night, with the bullpen responsible for just 48⅓ innings.

"Thank goodness we went to 25-man rosters [in the IL]," Nevin said. "If we didn't have 13 pitchers on the rosters, I think we'd really be in trouble."

STREAKY: The Mud Hens entered Saturday's contest with a six-game winning streak, the team's longest since the Mud Hens won seven straight from April 25-May 1 last season.

What made this year's streak especially impressive is that all six wins came on the road. Toledo's seven-game streak last season included six in a row on the road, including a four-game sweep at Syracuse and a pair of wins at Pawtucket.

The six-game win streak gave Toledo a 10-5 record entering the start of the homestand, which is a much better start than a year ago. Last season the Mud Hens lost 12 games before they won their 10th.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Former Mud Hen Dewayne Wise was named the International League's first player of the week Monday.

Wise swung a hot bat in his first six games for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, hitting .458 with three home runs and five doubles among his 11 hits. He had eight RBIs and seven runs scored in just six contests.

Wise, who has spent time in the major leagues with the Blue Jays, Braves, Reds, White Sox, and Marlins, hit .234 with eight home runs, 45 RBIs, and 22 stolen bases in 2005.

Contact John Wagner at: jwagner@theblade.com, 419-724-6481 or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.



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