Pete Orr’s eighth inning homer off of former Phil Mike Zagurski was the difference in a 2-1 win over the Pirates.
Three players’ performances stood out for me today: Orr, Ender Inciarte, and Aaron Cook. A day after playing center field for the first time in Major League or Major League exhibition game, Orr hit the deciding homer in the eighth. Cook allowed two base runners and had a strikeout in three innings of work. His Spring ERA currently sits at 2.45, and with the reassignment of Tyler Cloyd to the IronPigs, Cook looks to be the front-runner for the long-man/sixth starter role. His main competition, Rodrigo Lopez, scattered three hits in two scoreless innings. Inciarte doubled off of Kyle McPherson and threw out Brad Hawpe at the plate from center. Inciarte has the tools to stick around – it remains to be seen if the Phillies have the roster space, or prospects, to keep him around.
Jonathan Papelbon also picked up two Ks in his inning of relief.
Areas of Opportunity
Chase Utley misplayed a fairly routine ball but made up for it later in the game with a nice snag. The bullpen bent but didn’t break today, allowing only one run, but Lopez, Jake Diekman, and Cesar Jiminez all allowed more than one base runner to reach.
Tomorrow, the Phillies will tangle with the Rays. John Lannan will start followed by Antonio Bastardo, Jermey Horst, and Justin De Fratus.