The Phillies are still winless in Grapefruit League action, after losing for the second straight day to the Yankees, 7-4. Roy Halladay started the game, giving up one run–a home run by Alex Rodriguez–over two innings. He looked very sharp, and was even able to get himself out of a jam, something that is great to work on in Spring Training. The pitch he threw to A-Rod that cleared the fence was a mistake over the middle by Halladay, but still a decent pitch. It was just simply countered by even better hitting by one of the best hitters in the game.
Hunter Pence hit his second home run of Spring Training, sending a Freddy Garcia fastball straight into the teeth of the strong winds and over the left field fence. I think it’s safe to say Pence is ready for the season to start already.
The real story of the game was the play of Domonic Brown. Following Pence’s home run, he hit a laser to deep center for a triple. In his next at-bat, he singled to right, but was caught trying to steal second. He later made an error in left when a fly ball trickled out of his glove before he could grab it with his throwing hand. You could argue that he bobbled it on the transfer, but it looked like the bobble came before he got control of the ball. Brown’s play this Spring will be crucial to the Phillies and how they construct their roster going into 2012. As early as it is, I’d say he’s played pretty good so far, all things considered.
Over in the infield, Michael Martinez had a day to forget. At the plate, he did have a hit and a walk with a run scored, but in the field it seemed as though he couldn’t field a ground ball for his life. He was charged with two errors, and misplayed other ground balls that weren’t officially errors. Hopefully he’s just shaking off the rust.
Other pitchers to see action were Joel Piniero, who struggled in his Phillies debut, David Purcey, Antonio Bastardo, Philippe Aumont, and Joe Savery. Piniero and Aumont gave up three runs each, however only two of those six–one each–were earned.
The Phillies return to Bright House Field tomorrow at 1:00 PM, again against the Yankees.