Saturday, April 2, 2016

"O" No, Phillies Can’t Hold Lead Despite Solid Performances


Despite a final spring gem from Aaron Nola (3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER) and homeruns by Maikel Franco (9), Ryan Howard (3), and Carlos Ruiz (5), the Phillies couldn’t pull out the victory in the final match up of the spring finishing the preseason with a 15-11-3 record. Simply put, the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead giving up 2 runs in the final frame. Highlights include the massive power surge by the aforementioned Franco and the solid hitting from three hole hitter Odubel Herrera who finished the spring with a .419 average after going 3-5 in last night’s game. Of course, as Allan Iverson put it, “we’re talkin’ about practice!” We will just have to wait and see if the solid play on display the spring translates into wins during the regular season.

The Phillies are 15-10-3 this spring with one game left against a Major League opponent. And

The Phillies continue their two game split series tonight at Citizens Bank Park where the minor league team will look to rebound from the drubbing they received on Thursday night. However, the question remains, with an outstanding offensive display behind them can the two teams show some promise on the mound?

Longballs And Acquisitions - Four years before Pete Incaviglia was born, Wally Post shockingly defeated Hank Aaron on national TV during a 1960 broadcast of "Home Run Derby". Over 40 years later, in 2006, Ryan Howard gave us a glimpse of things to come when he hit his franchise record 11th homerun of the spring. 1996 was also a year of surprising power as Benito Santiago (and Todd Zeile) debuted behind the plate. Ten years later another player debuted for the Phillies, Aaron Rowand, who was not know for his power but for running into the outfield wall. However, what seemed inconsequential at the time but would prove to be one of the better trades in team history, the Phillies received Curt Schilling from Houston for Jason Grimsley. 

The Phillies have an impressive record this spring… 15-11-3 (17-11-3 if you include the exhibition games against Reading and the University of Tampa). With the Phillies having finished the 2015 season with a spectacularly awful record of 63-99 it will be interesting to see what kind of team new President Andy MacPhail and GM Matt Klentak put on the field. At the same time I am definitely looking forward to the games against Boston with former GM Ruben Amaro on the field. Given the departures, lingering contracts, a history of injuries, bipolar performances, and unproven talent, it should, at the very least, be an interesting season for the Phillies. Who knows, maybe they can avoid 100 losses... hopefully by more than one game!

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