Nolan Arenado stepped to the plate with two outs his Rockies down one run. Runners stood on second and third. The Phillies bullpen was about to squander another game in a miserable season.

Jake Diekman on the mound for the Phillies was struggling. He had balked the runners over earlier in the at-bat setting up Colorado in prime position. He looked angry.

“Once that balk was called I didn’t really say anything. I was just trying to stand on the mound and calm down” Diekman said. “I was a little P-O’d I would say.”

He pumped an angry fastball down the middle and into Carlos Ruiz’s mitt past Arenado’s swinging bat for strike three.

The number 99 popped up on the radar gun and the Phillies were out of the inning. Diekman and the bullpen preserved a 5-4 win.

“I think he’s fired up right there in the moment” Phillies interim manager Ryne Sandberg said. “No I did not know he could throw 99.”

Diekman and Justin De Fratus gave the bullpen rare stability Monday. Along with Diekman’s two huge outs De Fratus relieved rookie starter Ethan Martin in the sixth with two runners on and one out. He retired the next two batters.

Should they sustain that performance they will be prime candidates for a spot in the 2014 bullpen.

“I think if you take a look at the last couple weeks that things have started to get better for both of us” De Fratus said. “Tonight it was just another example of us getting more comfortable and more confident with our pitches.”