Yesterday afternoon, the Phillies faced the Tampa Bay Rays in their final spring training game. Despite their best efforts, they lost the game to the Rays, 9-7.
The Phils’ ace, Cole Hamels, started the game for the World Champs. In five innings of work, he gets rocked by the 2008 American League Champs, giving up six runs on six hits, including two home runs, a solo shot in the first inning to former teammate Pat Burrell and a three-run home run to Carlos Pena, also in the first, and a walk while striking out seven. Gary Majewski followed him, pitching a scoreless inning, giving up only a hit. J.C. Romero then took the mound for an inning, being hit for two runs on three hits and a walk. Cedrick Bowers followed Romero, pitching a 1-2-3 inning. Mike Koplove took the mound in the ninth, giving up a run on one hit and three walks while striking out a batter. Hamels took the lost, with his spring record now at 0-1 with a 9.39 ERA. In spite of the bad outing, the fact that Hamels was striking out a large number of batters in the ballgame should be an indication that he will be tough to face during the regular season.
Among the batters, the Phils had eleven hits against Rays’ pitching. Matt Stairs led the way with three hits, two singles and a double, as he knocked in a run and scored a run, ending the spring with a .288 batting average. Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez both followed with two hits each, with Ibanez hitting a home run, a two-run shot in the fourth, along with a double, while Howard had two singles and scored a run. Howard ended the spring with a .333 batting average while Ibanez ended his with a .310 batting average. Hopefully, Howard will be able to translate his hot spring hitting into the regular season. If so, opposing pitchers are in for a long season while facing him. Jimmy Rollins, Jayson Werth, Greg Dobbs and Jason Donald had the other four Phillies’ hits, with Dobbs’ hit being a two-run home run in the fourth, while Donald’s was a solo shot in the sixth. Werth’s hit, a double, help knocked in a run. Werth ended the spring with a .333 average, after a slow start thanks to injury problems. Rollins ended his spring with a .351 batting average, after coming back from being hot while playing for Team USA in the WBC. Prospect Jason Donald will be headed for Triple-A Lehigh Valley with a .310 batting average.
The defending 2008 World Champions are now ready to begin their title defense, ready to become the first National League team to repeat as World Series Champs since the Pete Rose-Johnny Bench-Joe Morgan-led Big Red Machine of 1975-76.
The Phillies will play the first game of their title defense tonight at home against the Atlanta Braves, the first game of a three-game series with the Braves. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park, with the game starting at 8:00 pm Eastern time. The game will be televisied nationally on ESPN. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers while the Braves will counter with Derek Lowe. Both starters’ records will be 0-0 with a -.– ERA.
PLAY BALL!!! and GO PHILLIES!!!!!
In their next to last Spring Training game in Florida, a ninth inning rally by the Phils fell short as they lose to the Yanks, 8-5.
Kyle Drabeck, who is coming back from injury, started the game for the Phils, receiving a rough reception from the Bronx Bombers. In two and one-third innings, Drabeck gave up five runs, only four of which were earned, on five hits, including a two-run home run by Mark Teixeira in the third, and two walks while striking out one Yank. J.A. Happ followed him and was stung by the Yankees as well, giving up three runs on four hits, including a two-run home run by Hideki Matsui in the fourth, and two walks while striking out only one man. The bullpen then came in and shut down the Yanks, as Brad Lidge, Mike Koplove and Scott Eyre each pitched a scoreless inning, giving up only two walks (Lidge and Koplove one man each) while striking out a total of three (Koplove (2), Eyre (1)). Drabeck took the lost, his spring record at 0-1 with a high ERA of 15.43, while Happ might have seen his chances of joining the main team, via the bullpen, go up in smoke.
Among the batters, the Phils had ten hits, with Jimmy Rollins and Jason Ellison both leading the way with two hits apiece, followed by Shane Victorino, Rich Thompson, Pablo Ozuna, Jayson Werth and Carlos Ruiz with one hit each, with Werth’s hit being a solo home run, his sixth of the spring. Along with Werth, Thompson and Ellison both had one RBI while Ozuna knocked in two runs.
The Phillies are presently playing their last spring training game in Florida, as they face the Washington Nationals at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida. The score is presently tied 10-10 after seven innings of play.
This week’s trivia question is: Name the first ex-Phil to be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame? You know where to find the answer.
After being embarrassed by Jon Lester and Boston Red Sox pitching yesterday afternoon, the Phillies’ batters decided to take their frustrations out on the Astros by crushing them today via the long ball, winning by the score of 13-3.
Chan Ho Park started for the Phils today, making it harder for Uncle Charlie to decide on either him, or J.A. Happ, as the team’s fifth starter, by pitching a good game, as he gave up only two runs, only one of which was earned, on six hits and a walk while striking out seven Astros in five and two-thirds innings of work. Chad Durbin relieved him in the sixth, giving up the final Astros run on a solo home run to Edwin Maysonet. His line would be one run on one hit in a third of an inning. Clay Condrey, Mike Koplove and Cedrick Bower would each pitch an inning, giving up only two hits (one apiece by Koplove and Bower) with a strikeout (Condrey). Park spring record is now 2-0 with an ERA of 2.53.
The Phillies’ bats collected fourteen hits this afternoon, with four of them being home runs. Eric Bruntlett would lead the attack with three hits, followed by Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins who each had two hits. Howard, Bruntlett and Rollins had three of the Phillies’ home runs, with both Bruntlett and Howard’s being two-run shots. Miguel Cairo, Greg Dobbs, Raul Ibanez, Geoff Jenkins, Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz and Pablo Ozuno had the other Phillies’ hit, with Ruiz’s hit being the final Phillies’ home run, another two-run shot, while Jenkins’ hit was a double. Bruntlett had four RBIs in the game, Ruiz knocked in three runs, Howards and Dobbs brought home two and Rollins knocked in one.
The next Phillies Grapefruit League game will be tomorrow night at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida against the Toronto Blue Jays. Game time is 7:05 pm Eastern.
In Grapefruit League play yesterday afternoon, the Phils were for the second time in their three meetings crushed by the Yankees, this time by the score of 10-2. Pitching prospect, Carlos Carrasco, who should be headed for Triple-A Lehigh Valley, started the game for the Phils. He pitched five innings, giving up four runs to the Bronx Bombers on six hits, including a two-run home run to Hideki Matsui in the first inning, and a solo shot to Cody Ransom in the fourth, and a walk while striking out four. Clay Condrey followed with an inning of work, giving up a run on a hit and a walk as he struck out two. Brad Lidge then took the mound, pitching a 1-2-3 inning. Scott Eyre followed Lidge for an inning and gets hammered hard by the Yanks, giving up five runs on five hits, with two of them being a solo home run by Nick Swisher and a two-run shot from Melky Cabera, as he struck out one. Mike Koplove pitched the final inning, giving up no runs on no hits while striking out one. Carrasco took the lost, with his spring training record now at 2-2 with a 5.95 ERA.
Among the batters, the Phils had only six hits, with Chase Utley leading the way with two hits, including his second home run of the spring, a solo shot. Ryan Howard, Geoff Jenkins, Matt Stairs and Ronny Paulino had the other hits, with Howard’s being a solo home run, his seventh of the spring, while Paulino and Stairs’ hits were doubles.
The Phillies will continue Grapefruit League play, as they face the Houston Astros at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, Florida. The game is in progress, with the Phils holding a slim 3-2 lead after four innings.
After a short rain delay, the Phils proceeded to crush the Yankees yesterday afternoon, 8-3, getting even for the earlier 12-0 battering at the hands of the Bronx Bombers the previous week.
J.A. Happ started the game for the Phils, continuing to stake his claim to the final spot in the starting rotation by pitching a strong five innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits and three walks as he struck out three. He was followed to the mound, for one inning each, by Clay Condrey and Brad Lidge, who each gave up a hit while they both struck out a batter. Scott Eyre followed them, pitching a 1-2-3 inning, as he struck out two batters. Mike Koplove pitched the ninth for the Phils, giving up a run on two hits and a walk. Condrey was the winning pitcher, with his spring training record now at 1-0 with a 1.08 ERA.
The Phillies bats came out swinging yesterday as they recorded twelve hits, with Eric Bruntlett and Raul Ibanez leading the way with three hits a piece, with each man knocking in a run. Jayson Werth, Miguel Cairo, Marcus Giles, Matt Stairs, Ronny Paulino and Jason Ellison would each get a hit, with Stairs and Cairo’s hits being a pair of two-run home runs while Giles’ hit was a double. Bruntlett and Ibanez also got doubles. Werth had the Phils other RBI, while the final run came in on a double play ball.
The Phillies next Grapefruit League game is against the Toronto Blue Jays, which is presently in progress.
In Grapefruit League play yesterday afternoon, the Phillies played the Cardinals to a 2-2, 10-innings tie, thanks to a Tyler Greene throwing error in the sixth inning.
Pitching prospect Carlos Carrasco started the game for the Phils, giving up two runs, with both runs coming in on a two-run home run by Rick Ankiel in the third, on three hits and two walks. Chad Durbin follows him to the mound, pitching an inning and a third of shut out ball, giving up no hits while walking two batters and striking out one. Ryan Madson then takes the mound, giving up no runs on a hit while striking out one in an inning and two thirds of work. Mike Koplove takes over, and pitches an inning and a third of shut out ball, giving up only one hit and a walk as he strikes out one batter. Jake Woods takes the mound in the tenth, giving up only one hit as he keeps the Cardinals from scoring a run, as the Phillies play their second tie in three games. Although Carrasco is likely not going north with the main team, he is likely to get sent to Lehigh Valley for more seasoning, and possible call up if something happens to someone on the main team during the season.
Among the batters, the Phils had a total of nine hits, with four batters having two hits apiece: Eric Bruntlett, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Geoff Jenkins, with one of Howard’s hits being a solo home run, his sixth home run of the spring. Carlos Ruiz had the Phils other hit. Howard had the Phils only RBI of the game, while Utley scored the second Phils’ run. Now having played in three Grapefruit League games, Utley, who appears to be ready to play second base on Opening Night, has a .333 batting average, while Howard has increased his average to .310 with his two hits.
The Phillies next spring training game is presently in progress with the Minnesota Twins at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, with the Phils’ trailing the Twins, 2-0, after at least one half-inning of play.
In Grapefruit League play yesterday afternoon, the Phils finally end their losing streak as they defeat the Astros, 5-2. Pitching prospect Carlos Carrasco started the game for the Phillies and recaptured his poise as he pitched three strong innings, giving up only a run on four hits and two walks while striking out four. Dave Borkowski followed, pitching an inning, giving up no runs on no hits as he walked two batters and struck out one. Andrew Carpenter went to the mound next, giving up a run, a Mark Saccomanno solo home run, on three hits and four strike outs as he pitched four innings. Mike Koplove pitched the final inning, giving up no runs on one hit while recording one strike out. Koplove records a save while Carrasco gets the victory, with his spring training record rising to 2-1 as his ERA lowers to 6.30.
Meanwhile, the Phillies batters recorded eleven hits with Pablo Ozuna leading the attack with three hits as he goes 3 for 4 with an RBI, followed by both Greg Dobbs and Matt Stairs, who both had two hits, with Dobbs knocking in two runs and scoring one. Jason Donald, Jayson Werth, John Mayberry, Jr. and Eric Bruntlett had the other Phillies’ hits, with Werth’s hit being a solo home run as he knocked in two runs. The Phils also had three stolen bases, with Ozuna, Donald and Bruntlett each swiping a base. Mayberry and Donald continues to impress the powers that be with their hitting.
In other Phils news, Chase Utley played in a minor league game yesterday, going 2 for 4 as he played second base for four innings, showing that he hasn’t lost a step. If he can show this in regular spring training games, he should be ready to start at second base on opening night.
The Phillies next spring training game is this afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:05 pm.