Reading Phillies– Week Three

Im starting off my rookie year as a correspondant with Phuture Phillies focusing on the Reading Phillies. Im a long suffering Philadelphia sports fan and my goal is through my focus on the Reading Phillies, to quickly forget the horrid year the Sixers and Flyers had and not have to listen to the Eagles explain why they took “the best athlete on the board” next week.

After 18 games, Reading is in first place in their division with an 11-7 record, 1/2 game in front of Akron. Most of the damage has been done against Harrisburg going 6-1 thus far against the Senators. 3B prospect Mike Costanzo continues his up and down season and is now hitting .235, with 4 HR and 11 RBI. While his 4 homers lead the league, so do his 30 strikeouts. He also committed his 8th error of the year last night. Stay tuned. Pitcher Kyle Kendrick may have turned the corner a bit this week lowering his ERA to 3.12, while pitching a team high 26 innings. His 1.06 WHIP shows that his control is improving and his sinker is working. Closer Anderson Garcia is placing himself in a position where people are forced to notice. He now has a league leading 6 saves and a 1.46 ERA to go along with a 0.65 WHIP. He has been nearly unhittable. CF Javon Moran leads the Eastern league with 17 runs scored and is third in stolen bases with 8.

The Reading Phils had a difficult weekend, losing 3 of 4 games to the Akron Aeroes. On Thursday evening, the Phillies had a season low two hits, while losing 4-1, with journeyman pitcher Jamie Nottingham getting the win for the Aeroes. Kyle Kendrick pitched for the Phillies and while throwing his fastball with velocity(93 mph), struggled with his command giving up 2 walks (both of whom scored) and hitting a batter over 6 innings. He gave up 3 runs and now has a 1-2 record. Friday evening with former Phils GM Ed Wade in attendance, the Phils lost again 4-1. While first baseman Matt Padgett led the offense with 3 hits, Heath Totten took the loss giving up 3 runs on 9 hits over 5.1 innings. On the bright side, catcher Tim Gradoville threw out both runners attempting to steal on him. The offense came to life Saturday evening with 26 year old Shortstop Jesus Merchan leading the way. In a career game, Merchan went 4-4, with 2 homeruns and 6 RBI’s, leading the way to a 13-7 Phillies victory. Every player in the Phillies lineup had at least one hit and 5 homeruns were hit by the Phils. Greg Jacobs homered, doubled and knocked in three. Tim McClaskey got the win giving up 4 runs on 4 hits over 5 innings. Even with a record crowd of 9,880 in attendance, the Phillies were crushed 14-3 on Sunday. RF Greg Jacobs, hit a solo homer for Reading. Pitcher Landon Jacobson, after winning his first 3 decisions was rocked by Akron, giving up 8 runs and walking 5 in just over 2 innings of work. He is now 3-1. Jesus Merchan continued his torrid weekend with 2 more hits on Sunday to go along with LF Brian Burgamy’s 2 hits.

The last place Harrisburg Senators’ came to town beginning a three game set Monday evening. After a very rocky start, Matt Maloney settled down to get the win , as Reading won the game 8-6. Anderson Garcia came in to pitch the final two innings and notched his fifth save of the year. Joey Hammond and Mike Costanzo led the offense, Hammond going 3-4 and Costanzo 2-4 with a key 2 run single. Catcher Jason Hill, just back from his brothers wedding in California also smacked a homer for the Phils. Reading continued battering the Senators with another win, 4-1, Tuesday evening behind the outstanding pitching of prospect Kyle Kendrick. After allowing a run in the first, Kendrick allowed only 3 more hits going 8 innings and getting the win(getting 11 ground ball outs), the longest outing for a Reading starter this year. 3B Mike Costanzo hit his fourth homer of the year, a two run shot in the eighth, giving the Phillies some insurance. Anderson Garcia, again came in to nail down the save (his 6th of the year), pitching a perfect ninth. Wednesday evening Harrisburg finally snapped out of their funk against the Phils shutting Reading out on two hits, winning 2-0. Heath Totten started for the Phils and took the loss, (1-3) going six innings on giving up two runs on nine hits.

Leftfielder Brandon Florence injured himself swinging during Friday’s game and was placed on the disabled list on a torn biceps. He is expected to be out 6-8 weeks, which is quite disappointing after his strong start (.350 BA). However, replacing Florence on the roster, is 36 year old Pedro Swann, who played last year with Reading and kick started their offense the second half of the season. He joins Reading from Ottawa and is expected to receive significant playing time. Julio De Le Cruz made his first appearences in almost 10 days after recovering from an oblique injury. He struggled in his first outing Saturday evening and was removed after 6 batters, 2 of whom he hit and 2 of whom singled. He bounced back well pitching two scoreless innings against Harrisburg on Tuesday.

3 thoughts on “Reading Phillies– Week Three

  1. Lets hope not….my recollection is that Nino Espinosa passed away from a heart attack shortly after he retired.

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