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Grapefruiting: Phillies No-Hit Tigers … Sort Of

Sadly, my initiation into BrightHouse Field was short-lived. The Phillies/Tigers game today was called due to rain after 3 innings.

It sucks, obviously, as I paid a boatload (more like a battleship-load) for this weekend trip; however, I’m taking it as it comes, and it was great being in BrightHouse Field (which is a great high-A venue) and talking to a bunch of fans.

What I did see was a fantastic three innings by Chad Durbin. It was a perfect three innings. He punched out Magglio Ordonez on three pitches — the last being a beautiful curveball that rested in Chris Coste’s glove on the outside corner for a picture-perfect backwards-K. After this outing, it’s safe to say Durbin has won a spot on the 25-man roster, and will be the long-relief man in the bullpen. He’ll be the first guy in the rotation after the inevitable Adam Eaton screw-up.

At this point, the only holes the Phillies really need to fill are the two middle relief bullpen positions. One should go to Francisco Rosario, who has done enough to earn a right-handed sixth inning job. The other is still a toss-up. Travis Blackley did nothing to secure his position, nailing Curtis Granderson in the head and walking another batter before being called back to the dugout during the rainstorm. If I had to put money on it, I’d say Blackley lost a job today, and Vic Darensbourg is on the 25-man roster with Rosario. But Pat Gillick did say the final two spots aren’t even on the roster yet. While that quote seems obscure, I still think you’ll see Rosario and Darensbourg join Durbin and Eaton on the 25-man.

Get used to it, fans:

Myers/Hamels/Moyer/Kendrick/Eaton

Durbin/Rosario/Darensbourg/Madson/Romero/Gordon/Lidge

Unless Gillick stuns us all and is able to move Helms, this is our 12-man pitching staff on March 31. (Which isn’t bad, it’s just not World Championship-caliber.)

The Phillies manufactured just one run in the three innings, with Pat Burrell and Pedro Feliz knocking hits before Geoff Jenkins walked off Kenny Rogers. Coste sac-flied Burrell home; Durbin and Rollins couldn’t get clutch runs home. I’m a tad worried about Rollins (and Chase Utley, who was 0-2 in this game), but they’re proven enough that it’s merely slow start.

That’s the “game-wrap.” Tomorrow I’ll catch the Phils-Blue Jays game in Dunedin, weather permitting. I’ll have more updates as the day progresses.

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