Starting on Friday night, the Phils played three Grapefruit League games, winning one and losing three, putting their Grapefruit League games record at 4-5.
On Friday night, they played a night game with the Toronto Blue Jays, losing a close game, 4-3. Chan Ho Park started the game for the Phillies, pitching four strong innings, giving up only an earned run on three hits as he struck out four. Yorman Bazardo followed him for an inning, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk while striking out a batter. Gary Majewski next came in to pitch two strong innings, as he struck out two batters, continuing to impress. Lastly, Sergio Escalona came in to pitch an inning, giving up a run on one hit and a walk while striking out one, becoming the losing pitching. His Grapefruit league record is now 0-1 with a 15.43 ERA.
Batting-wise, the Phillies had seven hits, with Greg Dobbs and Pablo Ozuna leading the way with two hits each, while Eric Bruntlett, Raul Ibanez, and Geoff Jenkins would each get a hit, with Jenkins knocking in all three Phillies’ runs.
On Saturday, the Phils played the Detroit Tigers at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, defeating the Tigers, 8-2. Jamie Moyer started the game for the Phillies, pitching four strong innings, as he gave up only one earned runs on four hits and a walk while striking out five, with the run coming in on a home run. J.A. Happ would follow, pitching three strong innings as he stay on pace with Park in the battle for the final spot in the starting rotation. Happ would give up no runs on two hits while striking out seven Tigers. Scott Eyre followed with an inning of relief, giving up a run on a hit, also a home run, while striking out two. Mike Koplove continues to impress with a strong 1-2-3 inning in the ninth, striking out one. Moyer takes the win, his Grapefruit League record now 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA.
The batters would get only five hits, but making them count when they needed to. Bruntlett, Ryan Howard, John Mayberry Jr., Jayson Werth and Jason Donald would else get a hit, with Howard and Mayberry’s hits being a pair of three-run home runs. Jenkins and Lou Marson would bring in the other two Phillies runs.
Yesterday, the Phillies played the Braves, losing that game,7-2. Joe Blanton started the game for the Phils, pitching three strong innings, before giving up a run in the fourth as the Braves batters in that inning proceeded to go first pitch hitting to knock in a run. Blanton would give up a run on four hits and a walk. Carlos Carrasco would follow and have two very unproductive innings as he gave up five runs, only three of which were earned, on six hits. This, along with his previous bad outing, will hurt his changes in the battle for the fifth spot in the Phils starting rotation. Clay Condrey would pitch next, putting up a 1-2-3 inning. Ryan Madson pitched next, giving up a run on four hits while striking out one. Carrasco takes the lost, his record now 1-1 with a 7.71 ERA.
The Phils got eight hits yesterday, with Marcus Giles and Donald leading the way with two hits apiece. Werth, Bruntlett, Ronny Paulino and J.J. Fumaniak would collect the other four hits. Donald and Paulino would knock in the two Phillies’ runs.
In the battle for the fifth spot in the rotation, Park and Happ appears to have turned it into a two man race, while Carrasco has been showing that he still need to improve on the mental aspect of his game before he can start facing major league level batters. Meanwhile, the man whose job the other three are shooting for, Kyle Kendrick, needs to not lose his head when things seem to go bad for him in games.
Presently, the Phillies are playing the Reds at Bright House Field, with the score tied 3-3 after five innings.
After losing their third straight Spring Training game yesterday, this time to the Cincinnati Reds in Sarasota, Florida, by the score of 10-3, the Phillies’ bats would come alive today as they would pound the 2008 American League Champions Tampa Bay Rays for 12 runs on 13 hits at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, defeating the Rays, 12-5.
Kyle Kendrick, whom pitching coach Rich Dubee had earlier announced as the person who had the fifth starter job to lose, would keep the Rays off the board in the top of the first. In the Phils’ half of the first, the silent bats would finally wake up in an explosive way against Rays’ starter Mitch Talbot. Jimmy Rollins would start the inning off with a double, before scoring on an RBI single by Shane Victorino, making it 1-0 Phils. One out later, Ryan Howard would get his first Spring Training hit, a two-run home run, plating Victorino before him, giving the Phillies a 3-0 lead. The next batter, John Mayberry, Jr., who is playing right field in place of Jayson Werth, who has a sore shoulder, would follow Howard with his own home run, his first for the spring, to make it 4-0 Phils. Two batters later, Miguel Cairo would knock in the last Phils run for the inning, as he would hit a solo home run, the third home run for the Phils in the inning, making it 5-0 Phillies.
In the top of the second inning, the Rays would get one of the runs back, as Ray Sadler would hit a two-out solo home run off of Kendrick, making it a 5-1 Phils lead. The Phillies would not score in their half of the second, nor would either team score a run in the third, although Kendrick would be replaced by Drew Naylor in the top of the inning when he got himself into a jam with two men out. Naylor would turn back the Rays, and then keep them quiet in the fourth. The Phillies would get another run back in their half of the fourth, as Jason Donald had an RBI single, his first hit of the spring, as he knocks in Cairo, who had earlier doubled, to make it 6-1 Phils. Naylor would then give up an RBI single to Justin Ruggiano in the fifth, as he would knock in Ray Olmedo, who has earlier singled and then stole second, as Naylor committeed an error trying to pick him off, making it 6-2 Phillies.
After neither the Phils, in the bottom of the fifth, or the Rays, in the top of the sixth, as Mike Koplove would pitch an almost clean inning aginst the Rays, would be able to score, the Phillies would increase their lead to 7-2 in the bottom of the sixth as Ronny Paulino would hit a two-out solo shot. The Rays would get the run back in the top of the seventh, as Jon Weber would hit a two-out RBI double, knocking in Olmedo, making it a 7-3 Phils lead. The Phillies would get the run back in the bottom of the seventh, to make it 8-3 Phillies. After Clay Condrey would put the Rays down 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth, the Phillies would finally put the game away in the bottom of the inning as they would score four more runs, with Eric Bruntlett, Andy Tracy and Mayberry each knocking in a run with two men outs.
In the ninth, the Phils would send Jake Woods to the mound. He would give up a two-run home run to Elliot Johnson, with two men out, before finally ending the game, with the Phils winning 12-5.
Pitching-wise, Kendrick, one of the four pitchers trying out for the fifth starer position in the starting rotation, would pitch two and two-thirds innings, giving up one earned run on four hits. Naylor would follow by going two and a third innings, also giving up an earned run on three hits while striking out three batters. Koplove would go to the mound next, pitching a scoreless sixth, although walking a batter, who would later be erased in a double play. Scott Eyre would be the next Phils’ pitcher, giving up an earned run on two hits, while striking out one Ray. Condrey would follow and pitch a 1-2-3 eighth. Woods would pitch the ninth, giving up two earned runs on two hits as he struck out two.
Among the batters, Howard, Cairo and Mayberry would lead the Phils thirteen-hit attack by each getting two hits, with each man hitting a home run, a two-run shot by Howard and solo shots by Cairo and Mayberry, while Mayberry would knock in a second run during the Phillies’ four-run eighth. Rollins, Victorino, Bruntlett, Tracy, Pablo Ozuna, Donald and Paulino would each get one hit.
The victory gives the Phillies a 1-3 record in the Grapefruit League. The next Phillies’ game is tomorrow afternoon at 1:05 pm Eastern, as the Phils play the Atlanta Braves in Lake Buena Vista, Florida at Disney’s Wide World of Sports.
The Phillies have earlier this afternoon played their first game of Spring Training, facing the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton, Florida. Sadly, they were on the losing end of an 8-2 score, thanks in part to an implosion by pitchers Joe Bisenius and Scott Nestor who gave up a total of seven runs on five hits and four walks, including a three-run home run to Shelby Ford, in the fourth and fifth innings. Those seven runs would give the Pirates a lead that they would never let go.
The Phils took the lead in the top of the third inning after Jamie Moyer’s two-innings of one-hit, two walks, worth of work, as Raul Ibanez showed his usefulness to the Phils early as he knocked in Jimmy Rollins from second after a Rollins’ single and his moving up to second on a Victorino ground out. The Pirates would then tie it in their half of the third, scoring a run off of Joe Blanton, before their seven-run, two-innings explosion against Bisenius and Nestor put them ahead to stay. The Phillies would be unable to score another run until the ninth when John Mayberry knocked in Jeremy Slayden with the Phils’ second and final run of the afternoon.
Other than Bisenius and Nestor’s implosion, Phils pitching did rather well, as Moyer struck out two batters to go along with his two walks; Blanton, also struck out two Bucos, although also giving up two hits and a run. Among the other three pitchers they used, Dave Borkowski pitched a scoreless inning; Jake Woods pitched a scoreless inning, striking out one and walking a batter and Mike Koplove struck out one in an inning of scoreless work. Overall, Phils pitching would give up eight runs on eight hits, including a double and a home run, walk seven batters while striking out eight.
The Phillies batters would get only seven hits off of nine Pirates pitchers (one pitcher used per inning), while also getting three walks while striking out eight times. Invitee Slayden would lead with two hits, including a double, while Rollins, Ibanez, Mayberry, Greg Dobbs and Geoff Jenkins would each get a hit.
Bisenius is the losing pitcher, with his Spring Training record at 0-1, with his ERA at 36.00. Donald Veal is the winning pitcher for the Pirates, as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit. His Spring Training record is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA.
The Phillies will play their first home game of Spring Training tomorrow afternoon at home in Clearwater, Florida, as they face the Toronto Blue Jays. Game time will be 1:05 pm Eastern.
Phillies add Koplove to bullpen
Champs reportedly add veteran right-handed reliever
By Robert Falkoff / MLB.com
Hopefully this move will help the team next year.
The Phillies aren’t resting on their World Series accomplishments. In a move that could eventually add depth to their 2009 bullpen, the Phils have agreed to terms with veteran reliever Mike Koplove, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.
Citing two sources familiar with the situation who confirmed the agreement, the Daily News said Koplove is likely to wind up at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, but will have an invitation to be in Clearwater, Fla., with the Major League club for Spring Training.
Koplove spent last season in the Dodgers’ system, going 2-1 with a 3.46 ERA for Triple-A Las Vegas.
Last year, the Phils made a relatively unheralded bullpen move in signing Chad Durbin, and Durbin wound up being a key factor in Philadelphia’s run to a World Series title. Koplove, 32, has only seven Major League appearances since 2005, but has pitched 254 2/3 innings in his career. (H/T Phillies.com)
Well, I’ll wait until spring training to see if this guy will actually help the team or not. But, if he does, how the Dodgers let him out of their minor league system I’ll never know.