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!!!!!
After trailing for most of the game, the Phillies came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays, 7-6, thanks to a three-run ninth inning.
Chan Ho Park started the game for the Phillies, and produced a not too good outing which may hurt his changes in his battle with J.A. Happ for the last spot in the startingrotation. Park pitched four innings, giving up three runs on four hits and a walk while striking out four Blue Jays. Robert Mosebach, who is fighting for a spot in the bullpen, follows, giving up a run on two hits and a walk in one inning of work. Chad Durbin follows him with a 1-2-3 inning, getting two strikeouts. Ryan Madson follows with a scoreless inning of his own, giving up a hit. Gary Majewski pitches two innings, giving up two runs on four hit and a walk as he strikes out a batter, while picking up the win, thanks to the Phillies scoring three runs in the top of the ninth. His spring training record is now 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA.
The Phillies’ bats collected thirteen hits today, with Jayson Werth, Pedro Feliz and Carlos Ruiz leading the way with two hits each, with one of Werth’s two hits being a solo home run. Miguel Cairo, Jason Ellison, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Eric Bruntlett, Rich Thompson and Chris Coste each got a hit, with Utley’s hit being a two-run home run. Utley would knock in three runs in the game, while Bruntlett knocks in two and Werth and Thompson knocks in a run each. Both Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino returned to the lineup after their stint with Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. Both players went 0 for 2 with a walk each while Rollins crossed the plate with a run.
In other Phillies’ news, Cole Hamels, who pitched in a minor league game at Clearwater, is expected to pitch on April 10 against the Colorado Rockies in Denver, the Phils’ fourth game of the season, while Brett Myers will pitch opening night at Citizens Bank Park against the Atlanta Braves on April 5, to be followed by Jamie Moyer and Joe Blanton.
The Phillies will take the day off tomorrow before facing the New York Yankees on Thursday afternoon for the second time this week, this time from Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida. Game time will be at 1:05 pm.
This week’s trivia question is: Name the Phillies’ pitcher who holds the major league record for the most losses in a season? You know where to find it, and I will reveal the answer on Thursday.
First off, I’m going to continue the quiz until tomorrow. So, if you haven’t made an attempt to answer the quiz, you still have time. The question is, which I will rephrase, is this:
Name the last National League team among the classic eight (teams that were members of the NL since 1900) to win its first NL pennant and name the last of the classic eight to represent the National League in the World Series, also for the first time? You all know where to find the answer.
Despite a late surge, the Phillies fell to Team USA this afternoon, with the final score, 9-6. Kyle Kendrick, who started the game for the Phils, recorded outs on seven of the first eight batter whom he faced before the roof fell on him. After getting out the first batter in the top of the third inning, with the Phils ahead 1-0, he would give up a single to Shane Victorino, who was playing center field for Team USA. Kendrick would then commit an error on a pickoff attempt, allowing Victorino to move to second base. Jimmy Rollins, who was starting as Team USA’s shortstop, then follows with a single, knocking in Victorino to tie the game. After a Dustin Pedroia single moves Rollins to second base, Chipper Jones would cap the inning off with a three-run home run to left, to give Team USA the lead, 4-1. Kendrick is then taken out for Antonio Bastardo, who finally ends the inning. Bastardo, in the fourth, gives up back-to-back home runs to Ryan Braun and Brian McCann, making it a 6-1 Team USA lead. He then gives up a three-run homer to Adam Dunn in the fifth, giving team USA a 9-1 lead. The rest of the pitching staff would keep Team USA quiet. Kendrick pitched two and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs on five hits while striking out one. Bastardo pitches two and one-third innings, giving up five runs on three hits and two walks while striking out two. Clay Condrey, Ryan Madson and Blaine Neal combines for four shut outs innings, giving up just two hits (Condrey and Neal one hit apiece) and three walks (Madson (2), Neal (1), while striking out 2 (Neal). All but one of the runs were given up on the long ball. Kendrick would take the lost for the Phils.
The Phillies’ batter scores a run in the first as Eric Bruntlett hits an RBI double, knocking in Marcus Giles, who has earlier walked, giving the Phils an early lead. After falling behind 9-1, Ryan Howard makes it a 9-4 game in the bottom of the fifth, as he hits a three-run home run. Jason Donald’s solo home run in the six reduces Team USA’s lead to 9-5. Mike Cervenak knocks in the Phils’ final run in the eighth. The Phils would get twelve hits, with Lou Marson leading the team with two hits. Giles, Bruntlett, Raul Ibanez, Howard, John Mayberry Jr., Geoff Jenkins, Cervenak, Donald, J.J. Fumaniak and Jorge Velandia would each record a hit.
Playing for Team USA, Rollins would go 1 for 2 with a single and a run scored while Victorino would go 1 for 3 with a single and a walk and a run scored. Pitcher Joe Bisenius would pitch one inning, giving up a run on three hits while striking out one.
The next Phillies Spring Training game will be tomorrow night at Dunedin Stadium in Dunedin, Florida, against the Toronto Blue Jays. The game will start at 7 pm Eastern. The Phils will also play a ‘B’ game with the Blue Jays at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida. That game will start at 12 noon.
Cole Hamels, in his first Spring Training start, would pitch two strong innings of shut out ball against Team Canada, giving up only two hits and a walk. Meanwhile, the Phillies bats would continue to pound the ball, collecting ten hits and four walks as they knock in nine runs, as the Phils would defeat Team Canada, 9-2. John Mayberry Jr. and Ryan Howard would lead the way with two hits a piece, while Jason Ellison, Raul Ibanez, Jeremy Slayden, Greg Dobbs, Ozzie Chavez and Ronny Paulino would each get a hit. Mayberry and Slayden both continue to impress as Mayberry would hit a double and a two-run home run, while Slyaden would hit a three-run homer in his only at bat. Ibanez also keep impressing as he would hit a double as he knocks in three RBIs. Howard would have the Phils other RBI.
After Hamels’ two shut out innings, Dave Borkowski would pitch a 1-2-3 third inning, receiving the win as the Phillies would score their first runs (4) in the bottom of the inning, followed by two more in the fourth and three in the seventh. Andrew Carpenter would follow Borkowski, this time being able to records some outs, after his shlacking at the hands of the Blue Jays last Friday, when he was unable to record a single out, as he would pitch a scoreless fourth. He would then give up two runs in the fifth, making the score at the time 6-2 Phils. Carpenter would pitch two innings, giving up two runs on three hits and four walks, as he strikes out one batter. Scott Eyre would follow, pitching a 1-2-3 sixth, recording two strikeouts. Justin Lehr would then come in and pitch two scoreless innings, giving up two hits while striking out one. Jake Woods would come in to pitch the ninth inning, giving up just one hit.
Matt Stairs, who was playing for Team Canada, would go 1-3 with a single, as he would play right field.
The Phillies next game, also an exhibition game, will be played tomorrow against Team USA at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida. The game will start at 12:05 pm Eastern.
Like Julia of Julia’s Rants is presently doing, I will start asking trivia questions. I will only be asking my questions once a week, and they will be either Phillies or National League related.
Okay, here’s the first question, and its technically a two-parter: Name the last National League team among the classic eight (teams that were members of the NL since 1900) to win the NL pennant and name the last of the classic eight to represent the National League in the World Series? You all know where to find the answer.