Good Friday morning! We are less than one week from opening day!
And here’s the news:
TIGER FIGHT?: The Phillies lost 6-2 to the Tigers Thursday. What else is new.
Well, how about ejections? In the Grapefruit League?
So Tigers pitcher Matt Boyd may have thrown intentionally at Odubel Herrera. Twice. That’s plausible, because we know how Herrera’s behavior (bat flips, taking a long time to get set in the box) can peeve certain pitchers. But whether or not it was intentional, umpire Tom Hallion ejected Boyd after the second pitch. Warnings were also issued to both teams.
Then Phils pitcher Parker Frazier, who I suppose is a non-roster invitee but I may have missed that memo, threw a slider that went awry and hit a Tiger batter. He got ejected, as did Gabe Kapler.
An inning later, Pedro Beato hit a batter and was also tossed. As was Rob Thomson. So I imagine Sam Fuld was managing or something.
Anyway, five people were ejected including four Phils players and coaches. I hate throwing at guys intentionally; it’s dumb and barbaric. I’m not exactly sure this was the case here. Maybe it was. I’m tired already. Let’s get to Atlanta.
ARRIETA PITCHES: Oh, right! Jake Arrieta threw his first pitches in a Phillies uniform. He went two innings, threw about 30 pitches, gave up a home run to Miguel Cabrera and was generally fine. In fact it was promising – he didn’t break, his velocity was in the 90s, and he got a few strikeouts. Woohoo! Seriously, let’s get to Atlanta.
WHERE TO WATCH?: So here’s a weird thing: Two of the Phils’ first six games won’t be available on traditional television. I know this wasn’t that absurd back in, say, 1989 (hell, we probably would’ve been glad about it), but in 2018 it’s wild.
The opening series against Atlanta is untouched. But the April 3 game in New York will be streamed on NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBCSports app, since the Flyers and Sixers both play that evening and get precedence. This makes sense, but you can’t like shoehorn one of these games on, say, SyFy or the USA Network? Come on, Cabletown.
Meanwhile the April 4 game in New York can be streamed on your favorite website, Facebook.com. Really excited to watch my information go to some Russian hacking outfit while I watch Ben Lively give up a home run to Brandon Nimmo.
There’s a second Facebook game: April 26 against Arizona.
MONTGOMERY HONORED: The Phillies on Thursday named their indoor training facility at Clearwater’s Carpenter Complex the David P. Montgomery Baseball Performance Center. It was a surprise to Montgomery, who was feted by team executives and players in the naming ceremony.
Montgomery, the chairman of the club, who battled jawbone cancer and stepped down as team president in 2014, is now cancer-free and still very visible within the organization.
This is a well-deserved honor for the Phillies lifer.
TODAY’S GAME: The Phillies head to Bradenton for a 1 p.m. game against the Pirates. The lineup:
- Hernandez – 2B
- Santana – 1B
- Herrera – CF
- Hoskins – LF
- Altherr – RF
- Franco – 3B
- Alfaro – C
- Nola – P
- Valentin – SS
This is Nola’s final start before opening day. So, so close to Atlanta.