It was the kind of game you would like to see only two days before Opening Day. It was a total team effort from the Phillies tonight against the visiting Pirates in Game 1 of the On Deck Series. Nine different guys had a hit tonight and Luis Castillo went 2 for 4 with two runs scored to help build an early lead for Roy Oswalt. And he did need it.
Oswalt pitched into the fifth inning seeing four batters without recording an out. He allowed five hits, five runs and walked four. He did strike out four and added a hit at the plate. It was Oswalt’s final tune up for the regular season and he saw his ERA rise to over six. This was the first action for Oswalt since suffering a neck contusion thanks to Manny Ramirez. Everything looks to be ok. He threw 89 pitched tonight, 51 for strikes.
J.C. Romero, David Herndon, Antonio Bastardo, and Ryan Madson all had scoreless outings and Michael Stutes pitched a near perfect ninth. Stutes issued one walk and struck out three in the inning. His ERA for the Spring was 0.82 in 11 innings. He gave up only four hits all Spring and struck out 14 batters.
Francisco continued his assault on the Grapefruit League with his fifth home run and is now hitting .377 this Spring. With Jayson Werth gone and Domonic Brown recovering from surgery, it seems only a matter of time before Charlie Manuel announces him as his starting right fielder.
Jimmy Rollins had two RBIs on the night and Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez each added RBI singles. Up next for the Phillies is Game 2 tomorrow afternoon against the same Pirates. Cole Hamels takes the ball against Charlie Morton.