The Phils (4-5, 4th), after leaving Citizens Bank Park with their first series win of 2013, will start a three-games series with the last place Marlins (1-8, 5th), the team with presently the worst record in the National League. The game will be played at Marlins Park and will start at 7:10 EDT.
The Phils will put on the mound their fifth-game starter John Lannan (0-0, 3.86), who is coming off a rather good start against the Royals on April 6, in his first start as a Phil, as he went seven innings, giving up three runs on five hits, while striking out five, holding off the Royals until the Phils were able to make a comeback in the ninth inning to win the game by the score of 4-3. He will be trying to win his first start as a Phil, while trying to lead the club to their first three-game winning streak. The Marlins will counter with Ricky Nolasco (0-1, 3.97), who is making his third start of the season, as he comes off a no-decision against the Mets on April 6, as he went five and a third innings, giving up three runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out three, in the Marlins’ 7-3 lost. He will once again be looking for his first win of the season, while the fish will be looking for their second win of 2013. The Phils will be trying to take advantage of the Marlins’ early season woes, while trying to move up in the NL East standings, while trying to keep from falling any further behind the first place Braves.
After nine games, the Phils have three regulars with a .300 or better batting average, third baseman Michael Young (.375 (12 for 32)), second baseman Chase Utley (.333 (11 for 33)) and shortstop Jimmy Rollins (.316 (12 for 38)), with Utley presently leading the team with nine RBIs and is tied for the team’s lead in home runs with two (tied with Dom Brown) and for the team’s lead in triple with one (along with Young), while Rollins is the team’s leader in doubles with five. Utley and Rollins are tied for second place in stolen bases with three each, both trailing Ben Revere, who presently has four. Rollins is tied for second in RBIs with five with both Ryan Howard and Brown, as they all trail Utley. Rollins, for now, is batting a lot better as the second batter in the Phils’ line-up, looking like the Rollins of 2007-2008, while Utley appears to have gone back to what he was doing before his foot problems of the last two seasons (2011-2012). The biggest disappointment, at the moment, is Howard, who is presently batting (.200 (7 for 35)), despite him showing that he might have finally gotten it during spring training (.322 (28 for 87)), but seems to have gone back to swinging at the junk pitches of breaking balls out of the strike zone and high fastballs, as he have collected only one extra-base hit, a home run, as he has struck out a team leading twelve times. As long as he continue to go after the junk, opposing pitchers will not throw him any good pitches to hit, unless Young start to force them to start pitching to Howard by continuing to hit.
The Yanks took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as, with a man on second, and with one man out, Mark Texieira hits an RBI double, knocking in Ichiro Suzuki, who had earlier singled, then stole second base for his first steal of the spring. The Phils would tie the game up at one-all in the sixth as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Kevin Frandsen hits an RBI double, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier walked, then stopped at second base as Ben Revere grounded out, 1-3, for the inning’s second out. The Yankees regained the lead in the seventh as, with a man on first, and with one man out, JR Murphy hits a two-run home run, his first home run of the spring, scoring Adonis Garcia, who had just singled, giving the Yanks a 3-1 lead. The Phils would cut the Yanks’ lead in half in their half of the seventh as, with one man out, Domonic Brown hits a solo home run, his second home run of the spring, making it a 3-2 Yanks’ lead. The Phils took the lead three batters later as, with a man on second, via a double by Cody Asche, and now with two men out, Tommy Joseph hits a two-run home run, his first home run of the spring, giving the Phils a 4-3 lead. That would end up being the final score as Jeremy Horst would come in and pitched a scoreless ninth, recording his first save of the spring.
Kyle Kendrick received a no-decision as he threw two innings, giving up a run on three hits, as he struck out a batter. Aaron Cook followed with two scoreless innings, giving up two hits and a walk. Chad Durbin pitched a strong inning, giving up a hit. Zach Miner got the win (1-0, 9.00), although giving up two runs on three hits in two innings of work, as he struck out two batters. Cesar Jimenez recorded his first hold of the spring as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Jeremy Horst received his first save of the spring as he threw a scoreless inning, as he gave up two hits. Jose Ramirez also received a no-decision as he threw two scoreless innings, giving up a walk. David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain, and Juan Cedeno all recorded their first holds of the spring, as they combined for three scoreless innings, giving up a hit (Chamberlain), a walk (Robertson) and a hit batter (Cedeno) between them, while striking out two batters (Chamberlain). Jim Miller received his first blown save of the spring as he pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit and a walk. Zach Nuding recorded his first blown save of the spring, before taking the lost (0-1, 27.00), as he pitched an inning, giving up three runs on three hits, while striking out a batter. Branden Pindar threw a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two batters.
The Phils would record only five hits in the game, although making them count late in the game, a single by Ryan Howard (who’s spring batting average is presently at .500 (5 for 10), an RBI double by Kevin Frandsen, a double by Cody Asche, a solo home run by Dom Brown, and a two-run home run by Tommy Joseph. The Phils also collected three walks (Jimmy Rollins, Howard and Steven Lerud) and a hit batter (Brown) in the game.
The Phils (1-2-1) will play their next Grapefruit League game tomorrow afternoon against the Twins (2-2) at Hammond Baseball Park in Fort Myers, Fla. at 1:05 pm EST. The Phils will send to the mound newly acquired starter John Lannan (0-0, -.-), who will be making his first spring training start. He will be trying to even up the Phils’ win-loss record. The Twins will counter with Kevin Correia (0-0, 4.50), who gave up a run against the Orioles on February 23, as he pitched two innings, in the Twins’ 5-3 lost. He will be trying to get the Twins over the .500 mark in Grapefruit League action. The Phils will be seeing if they can even up their spring training record, while trying to heat him their bats, to give some runs support to the good starting pitching that they have so far received, while hoping that the bullpen will improve, before the first cuts are made.