The Phillies lost their Spring Training home opener today to the Blue Jays, 6-2. This makes 2 straight losses to open the pre-season; World Series hangover perhaps? The big boys like Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez went 0-3, each leaving 2 men on base, and the only two runs scored were knocked in by Jimmy Rollins and Greg Dobbs who each went 1-3. Carlos Carrasco and JA Happ began the pitching duel today, battling it out for the 5th starter position. Both pitched two scoreless innings with only Happ giving up a hit; although Carrasco was helped out by John Mayberry in right field who used his 6’5″ frame to scale the wall and snag what was surely a home run shot. Here is Mayberry making the catch along with another shot of him getting hit by a pitch; below that, you will see Jeremy Slayden playing a ball off the centerfield wall.
In other great pitching news, Gary Majewski, previously of the Reds, pitched two scoreless innings as well. But much like yesterday’s game, two other pitchers gave the game away for the Phillies; Justin Lehr gave up 2 back to back home runs in his one inning of work and Blaine Neal gave up 4 runs in only 2/3 of an inning.
More encouraging was the play of rookie Mayberry and Jason Ellison, a 6-year veteran previously with the Rangers. Ellison got a hit in the 3rd inning and proceeded to steal second base:
Also on the ball today was 3rd baseman Mike Cervenak, who helped save a hit by making a great play on a ball that took a nasty short hop. Cervenak also drew a walk in his only at-bat. Here he is making the catch and also trying to break up a double play that Jeremy Slayden hit into:
Although the Phillies have dropped the first two games, keep in mind that at this point in Spring Training, less emphasis is placed on winning games and more on examining rookies and deciding who will make the final roster. So, not to worry Phillies fans!
In other news for the worriers, you will be happy to know that prior to the game, Chase Utley took batting practice on the field. He took some light swings and looked like he was not too far from seeing game action. Also before the game, Army air paratroopers parachuted into the stadium, one of them carrying the World Series flag which was then hung in the stadium. And that is our Picture of the Day:
***Visit the Phillies Phollowers Online Shop today!***
*Remember also to check out our homepage My Team Rivals and our Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, Billy Penn Curse, Reinstate Pete Rose, Phillies Mets Rivalry, Phillies Marlins Rivalry, and Phillies Braves Rivalry and my very own Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!