There were a few signs of life from the Phillies in last night’s 4-2 win over the Red Sox. First, the fact that they won after a 0-8 beat down in the home opener is encouraging. Second, pitcher Aaron Harrang dominated the Red Sox line-up. No one was really sure what to expect from Harrang after a spring that seemed to be riddled with back issues. But through 6 1/3 scoreless innings, Harrang proved he is ready to go.
Jeff Francoeur also had something to prove after spending nearly all of last year languishing the Padres minor leagues. He gave the Phillies their first runs of the season with a 3-run homer in the 6th inning. If Francoeur can continue to find some of his old, Braves-days magic, he could see some descent playing time.
Another good sign was the speedy Ben Revere, who turned a Sox error into 3 bases in the 7th inning. His hustle led to a run after Chase Utley hit a sac fly. And Carlos Ruiz had 2 hits on the day batting 2nd, which is also nice to see.
The one not-so-great sign was Ken Giles. He was all over the place pitching in the 8th inning. Giles gave up a hit and 3 walks, which accounted for both Red Sox runs. After he walked a run home, manager Ryne Sandberg finally went out to get him and let Jonathan Papelbon earn a 4-out save against his old team. Giles had some soreness in spring training. His speed is down and his control is missing. One has to wonder how healthy he is.
Tonight, David Buchanan gets his first start after a very encouraging spring. Game time is 7:05pm.