After having to come from behind to win their first spring training game over Florida State, 13-6, in seven and a half innings, the Phils, after taking the lead in the seventh via an RBI double by non-roster invitee Oscar Chavez, scoring Juan Castro from second base, lost the lead in the top of the ninth as reliever and eventual game winner Sergio Escalona gave up RBI singles to David Winfree and Jose Gil. The Phils would win the game in the bottom of the ninth as non-roster invitee Paul Hoover hit an RBI double to left, tying the score as Quintin Berry just beat in the throw to the plate, allowing Hoover to move up to third base with one man out. Two batters later, with pinch runner Dwayne Wise on third, and with two men out, Wilson Valdez hits an RBI single which ricocheted off of Yankees’ relief pitcher Wilkins Arias, scoring Wise with the winning run, giving the Phils a 3-2 win, and a 1-0 record in Grapefruit League play.
Phils’ starter Roy Halladay, in his first game since the trade that brought him to the National League Champs, was in excellent form, striking out three batters in two scoreless innings, just missing a perfect outing as Placido Polanco commited a throwing error on a grounder to third base in the first, as he threw 21 of his 24 pitches for strikes. Kyle Kendrick, who is competing for the number five starter job with Jamie Moyer, followed Halladay with two scoreless innings of his own, giving up a hit, as he struck out one. The next two pitchers for the Phils, Jose Contreras and Andrew Carpenter followed by both pitching two scoreless frames apiece, with Contreras giving up two hits and Carpenter one, as they, between them, struck out five Yanks (Contreras (3), Carpenter (2)). The Phils’ winning pitcher, Escalona, had a bad ninth inning, blowing the save, his first in Grapefruit League play, as he gave up two runs on four hits, while striking out a batter, in one inning of work. Escalona’s record is now 1-0 with a high ERA of 18.00.
Besides the RBI hits by Chavez, Hoover and Valdez, the Phils had a total of eight hits in the game, with returning Phil, Polanco getting a hit in the first, a single, while John Mayberry, Jr., and Castro both got a basehit, while Brian Bocock had two. Chavez and Hoover had the Phils only extra-base hits, both doubles.
The Phils next Grapefruit League game will be a road game against the Toronto Blue Jays that will start at 1:05 pm.
The Phils constantly came from behind before finally defeating the Marlins in extra-innings, 7-6, thus ending the 2008 regular season on a high note. They will now face the Rockies in the best of five Divisional Series starting on Wednesday.
The Marlins jumped to a quick 1-0 lead, as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Nick Johnson hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Chris Coghlan, who had earlier singled, and then reached third on Cameron Maybin’s double. Three batters later, with two men once again on, as Dan Uggla walked, and now with two men out, Ronny Paulino hits an RBI double, scoring Maybin, giving the fish a 2-0 lead, and sending Uggla to third. The Phils would get a run back in the fourth as Miguel Cairo hits a lead-off home run, his first home run of the season, making it a 2-1 Marlins’ lead. The Phils would then tied the game at two-all later in the inning as, with a runner on third, and with two men out, Ben Francisco hits an RBI single, knocking in Jayson Werth, who had earlier singled, and then proceeded to steal first second, and then third base. The Marlins would retake the lead in the fifth as, with the bases loaded, via a walk to Marlins’ starter Josh Johnson, a single to Coghlan, sending J. Johnson up to second base, a ground out by Maybin, 5-3, which would move J. Johnson up to third and send Coghlan up to second, and a walk to N. Johnson, with two men out, Wes Helms hits an RBI single, scoring both J. Johnson and Coghlan, making it a 4-2 Marlins’ lead, and sending N. Johnson over to third. The next batter, Uggla, then followed with an RBI single, knocking in N. Johnson, making it 5-2 Marlins and sending Helms to third. The Phils would strike back in their half of the fifth as, with a runner on third, and with nobody out, Eric Bruntlett hits an RBI single, knocking in Andy Tracy, who had just tripled, making it a 5-3 Marlins’ lead. Two batters later, pinch hitter Shane Victorino hits an RBI single, knocking in Bruntlett, who had earlier stolen second base, to make it a 5-4 Marlin’s lead. Two batters later, with a runner on second, and now with two men out, Greg Dobbs hits an RBI single, scoring Victorino, who had just gone to second on a Cairo ground out, 3-unassisted, tying the game up at five-all. The Marlins regained the lead in the sixth as, with runners on the corners, and with one out, Coghlin hits into an RBI force out, knocking in Emilio Bonifacio, who had earlier walked, and had gone to third on pinch hitter Gaby Sanchez’s single, while Sanchez, who had just singled, was wiped out at second, 4-6. The Phils would tie it up again at six-all in the eighth as Cairo hits a lead-off triple, then went home when Marlins’ second baseman Uggla threw the ball into the dugout for a throwing error. The Phils would win the ballgame in the tenth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Paul Hoover hits an RBI infield single off of Helm’s glove, scoring John Mayberry, who had singled, then moved to second on Cairo’s sacrifce bunt, 2-3, giving the Phils a 7-6 walk-off win.
J.A. Happ received a no-decision as he pitched only two innings, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk, while striking out one. Kyle Kendrick then followed for two and two-thirds inning, giving up three runs on three hits and three walks, as he struck out three. Clay Condrey pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Brett Myers pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on just a walk, as he struck out a batter. Sergio Escalona pitched one and two-thirds innings, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out one. Jack Taschner pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits, as he struck out one. Scott Eyre pitched an inning, giving up only a walk, while striking out a batter. Chad Durbin got the win as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. His record is now 2-2 with an ERA of 4.39. Josh Johnson also recorded a no-decision as he went four and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out five. Tim Wood pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only man he would face. Burke Badenhop recorded his second hold as he pitched two 1-2-3 innings, striking out three. Kiko Calero blew his fifth save, as he went an inning, giving up a run on a hit, while striking out a batter. Renyel Pinto pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits, as he struck out two. Dan Meyer took the lost as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, while striking out one. His record is now 3-2 with a 3.09 ERA.
The Phils collected twelve hits in the game, with Miguel Cairo, Ben Francisco and Eric Bruntlett leading the team with two hits each, with Cairo’s hits being a home run and a triple, knocking in a run while scoring two. Greg Dobbs, Jayson Werth, Paul Hoover, Andy Tracy, Shane Victorino and John Mayberry Jr. collected the other six Phils’ hits, with Tracy’s hit being a triple. Besides Cairo’s home run, Dobbs, Francisco, Bruntlett, pinch hitter Victorino and Hoover each knocked in a run, with Hoover’s being the game winner. The non-regulars and the September call-ups help lead the Phils to their final win of the regular season.
The Phils finished the regular season with a 93-69 record, with one win more than they won in 2008, being their best record under Charlie Manuel’s leadership. The Phils will be off until Wednesday when they will play the first game of the NL Divisional Series against the Colorado Rockies, the wild card winner. The Phils will be trying to get even with the Rockies for 2007 when they got swept in three games.
Last night, Brett Myers, the now designated opening night starter, showed that he was ready to take the mound next Sunday night, as he pitched a strong four innings, giving up only one run on three scattered hits, with the run coming in on a Travis Snider solo home run in the second inning, as he struck out three. Relievers J.C. Romero and Ryan Madson then followed him, each man pitching a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit between them (Romero) while striking out a batter (Madson). Jack Taschner, making his spring training debut as a Phil after his trade to the team, then came on to pitch an inning, giving up just one hit. Brad Lidge and Gary Majewski then pitched the final two innings for the Phils, with both man pitching 1-2-3 innings, striking out three batters between them (Lidge 2, Majewski 1). Myers got the win, with his spring record now at 2-2 with a 3.52 ERA. Hopefully, it’ll be the good Brett that will be making an appearance next Sunday night.
Batting-wise, the Phillies unloaded for nine runs and fifteen hits on Blue Jays’ pitching. Jimmy Rollins, Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez and Pedro Feliz each collected two hits, while Eric Bruntlett, Chase Utley, Pablo Ozuna, Ryan Howard, Paul Hoover, Jason Ellison and Chris Coste got the other seven. Ibanez’ two hits were a double and a two-run home run, while both Rollins and Werth would also get doubles. Ibanez knocked in three of the Phils runs, Werth plated two, while Bruntlett, Howard, Ozuna and Matt Stairs each got an RBI, with Stairs’ RBI coming in when he was hit by the pitch with the bases loaded.
The Phillies next Grapefruit League game is this afternoon against the New York Yankees from George M. Steinbrenner Field, in Tampa, Florida. The game is presently in progress.
The Phillies came close, but end up losing to the Braves at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, 12-10. The Phils’ starter, Kyle Kendrick, had his second straight bad start as he gets rough up by the Braves in two of his three innings plus four batters worth of work, as he gives up eight runs on ten hits, with two of them being a pair of two-run home runs to Clint Sammons, a walk and a balk as he strikes out two batters. Gary Majewski, who is fighting for a spot in the bullpen, follows, pitching one inning where he gives up two runs, only one of which was earned, thanks to a Ryan Howard error, on three hits. Scott Eyre then follows with a scorless inning, giving up a hit and a walk while stricking out one batter. Ryan Madson then works an inning, giving up a run on three hits as he strikes out two batters. Jake Woods then pitches one inning, also giving up a run on two hit while striking out a batter. Dave Borkowski and Joe Bisenius then pitches an inning each, with both pitchers giving up a hit while Bisenius also walks a batter. Kendrick takes the lost, as his Grapefruit League record drops to 1-1 while his ERA rises to 14.29.
In a losing effort the Phillies get fifteen hits, with Jason Donald leading the way as he goes 3 for 4 with a double, scoring two runs, followed by Raul Ibanez, Greg Dobbs, and John Mayberry, Jr, who would each get two hits in the game. Mayberry’s two hits were a double and a solo home run, as he knocks in two runs, continuing to impress with his .290 spring batting average. Ibanez would also knock in two runs and score a run, while Dobbs would knock in a run. Jorge Velandia, Howard, Jason Ellison, Paul Hoover, a triple, Matt Stairs and Miguel Cairo, a solo home run, would get the other Phillies hits. Howard would knock in two runs, increasing his total to 10 RBIs, as his hit .292 this spring. Valendia, Jayson Werth and Cairo would knock in the other runs.
The Phillies, after falling behind 10-1 after three and a half innings, would slowly chip away at Atlanta’s lead before finally losing the game in the ninth inning, showing that they are still able to comeback against their opponents, as they have done during the two previous seasons. Meanwhile, with this outing, Kendrick appears to be pitching himself out of the fifth starter position in the starting rotation, leaving it as a two man race between Chan Ho Park and J.A. Happ.
The next Phillies Spring Training game will be tomorrow afternoon against the American League Champions Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida. The game will start at 1:05 pm.