The Phillies traveled to the Blue Jays Spring Training Complex to play a pair of XST games today. Bailey Falter started for Coach Roly de Armas and provided three solid, shutout innings. Enger Jimenez had a couple RBIs. And Jhailyn Ortiz picked up a couple of outfield assists as the Phillies won 5-1.
Falter was the first of 5 pitchers. He started off walking the lead off hitter in an 8-pitch at bat. Turns out that the lead off hitter was Toronto’s Devon Travis who slashed .304/.361/.498/.859 with 8 HR and 35 RBI as a rookie in 2015 before going down with a shoulder injury after 62 games. After the walk, Falter induced a double play ball and struck out the final batter of the first inning.
Since Travis was on rehab, Falter faced him in each of his three innings. He got him to line out to left in the second inning, got Vlad Guerrero’s kid to fly out to right, and struck out the final batter of the second inning.
Travis came to bat with one out in the third, and Falter got him on a line drive to third. It looked like he would end his third inning with another strike out but he didn’t get the call on a 2-2 pitch that looked like it had the outside corner. The batter took advantage of the reprieve to single to center. The next batter doubled to right, but Jhailyn Ortiz played the ball in quickly and held the runner at third. Falter got the final out on a come backer to the mound.
In spite of the expanding and contracting strike zone, the Phillies got nice performances from several young pitchers. –
- Falter – 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 47 pitches, 29 strikes, FB 87-89. He had a nice curve ball working too. He got at least one of his strike outs on it.
- Gustavo Armas – 1.2 IP (one was rolled), 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, FB 87-88
- Oscar Marcelino – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, FB 90-94
- Kenny Koplove – 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, FB 91-93
- Geury Ortiz – 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, FB 91-92
Defensively, the Phillies got a few nice plays –
- In the fourth inning of a 1-0 game, the left fielder (either Enmanuel Garcia or Enger Jimenez) covered a lot of ground to catch a ball headed for the corner.
- With runners on the corners and nobody out In the fifth, Jhailyn Ortiz charged an RBI single and cut down the runner from first as he tried to go from first to third.
- With the bases loaded and one out in the sixth, Ortiz threw a runner out at the plate on a potential sacrifice fly, by a wide margin.
The Phillies built their lead on –
- Carlos Duran’s RBI double in the third inning,
- Nerluis Martinez’ ground out to short in the fourth,
- A wild pitch that scored Ortiz in the fourth,
- Jimenez’ 2-run double in the sixth.
Jhailyn Ortiz had himself had himself quite a game.
- He went 2-3 with 2 R, a BB, and a K.
- He singled with one out in the second and stole his first base. (Later I joked with Coach Delima, “How about that stolen base by Ortiz. Was that his first?” Coach said “Yes, his first and last.” And while shaking his head, “And head first.”)
- He walked in the fourth, advanced to second on a wild pitch that also put Rodriguez on third, and moved to third on Martinez’ RBI ground out. He scored on another wild pitch, but almost scored on an earlier ball in the dirt. He false-started and retreated to the bag when the ball bounced cleanly back to the catcher. Went back head first again.
- He singled to left in the sixth and scored from first on Jimenez double down the left field line. From first. SMH. Fortunately he didn’t have to slide.
- He led off the top of the ninth and was caught in one of those at bats where the umpires don’t look consistent. He was assessed a strike on a check swing that wasn’t being called earlier in the game. I thought he held up, but I was behind the home plate umpire, not the best angle. He was called out looking at a pitch that appeared to be outside. I had a better angle on this one didn’t think it was a strike. Ortiz gave the umpire a long look, smiled and turned. As he walked to the dugout, I thought I heard the word BS. I’m not fluent in Spanish, so I’m not sure what he said. Apparently, the umpire speaks Spanish, he stared at Ortiz all the way back to the dugout while the coaches tried to speak over Ortiz and get him to safety.
- These must have been newer umpires. Or they were being graded by umpiring officials. A guy in the stands called the home plate umpire over and gave him some advice. It sounded like he was an umpiring official telling the umpire to eject the player if a similar situation occurred in the future.
There was a game on the another field, but I don’t know that outcome.