Mesa, 41, was 1-1 with a 12.34 ERA in 16 appearances for the Tigers after signing a one-million, $2.5 million deal during the off-season. He also missed time with a groin injury. The right-hander pitched with the Phillies from 2001-03. His 45 saves in 2002 is the highest single-season total in club history.
Beerleaguer: Stranger things have happened than if Mesa comes back and actually works out. Nevertheless, this is a last-ditch effort to save his career and your typical act of desperation on the part of the Phillies.
In the three seasons since his grand Philadelphia exit, Mesa hasn't been terrible, even last season in Colorado, where he went a couple long stretches without giving up a run. However, he's not missing many bats anymore and the reports from Detroit said everything was arriving flat.
The Phillies will ask him to get outs any way he can in some kind of seventh-inning role, or in close games when they trail. He'll be better at it than Clay Condrey, so in that regard, it's an upgrade. The X-factor is how he adjusts to Citizens Bank Park, where he's only pitched 1 2-3 lifetime innings and the home crowd will be ready to snap at a moment's notice. There's no easier target than Joe Table. He doesn't represent a cheery chapter in Phillies history. Then again, few of them do.
After tonight's game, pitcher Freddy Garcia, who lasted just 1 2-3 innings and was hitting low-to-mid 80s on the gun, acknowledged having pain in his shoulder. He will be examined Monday when the team returns to Philadelphia, but a trip to the DL would seem imminent. Why? Because he looks flippin' awful, that's why.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said afterward that he suspected Garcia had been hurt all along and finally confronted the veteran about it in the dugout tunnel after the pitcher was yanked. Garcia is 1-5 with a 5.90 ERA in 11 starts and has struggled with his velocity dating back to last season.
Garcia is owed $10 million this season and was acquired in a trade with the Chicago White Sox for minor league pitchers Gio Gonzalez and Gavin Floyd. The White Sox have already received the better end of the deal.
Game chat: Phillies and Royals match up again tonight at 7:10 p.m. ET. Gil Meche and Jon Lieber are scheduled to throw.