I hadn’t been able to make it to the XST games for a while. But, one of our readers, Mark Wylie, sent me a batch of photos from Saturday’s game against the Blue Jays at the Complex. He provided a bit of a write up and said I could use both/either on the site. Since I hadn’t been there, I opted to use everything he sent me.
I did make it to the Complex today (Monday). I’ll provide a little commentary after Mark’s contribution. FYI, Mark has provoded me with photos in the past. They are always of better quality than I can take with my little camera and cell phone. BTW, if you are on my personal contact list, as some of you are, I just got a new cell and number, and haven’t notified all of my contacts yet. So, the new number is coming.
Mark’s photos are a little “Josh Stephen heavy”, so I hope you enjoy them. I’m sure Mike will, wink.
I attended the Tigers game at the Complex on Monday. As I approached, I saw Alex Wojciechowski taking live BP against Will Stewart. Caleb Eldridge and Gregori Rivero were there too.
Arquimedes Gamboa started and played short. Since Mark didn’t mention him above, I will assume that this was his first rehab game. He played the full game. So if he plays again tomorrow, he may be on his way back to Lakewood this week.
Ortiz was dressed, but wasn’t in the line up.
During the game, Tom Windle walked past me. I had assumed that his assignment was one of those paper moves. If he’s here, then maybe he has some sort of unreported injury.
The Crosscutters got 5 hits in the 7 innings I watched. Malvin Matos singled and stole second on a dropped catch by the shortstop in the first inning. Rafael Marchan singled in the second and was erased on a Josh Stephen double play ball. Juan Luis singled in the third inning and stole second on a high throw. In the fifth inning, Luis Encarnacion reached on an infield single. Yes, an infield single. He chopped a ball softly over the mound that the shortstop couldn’t handle cleanly. In the seventh inning, Gamboa launched a home run over the left field fence. He went 1-3 on the afternoon. He grounded out to short leading off the first, and hit a deep fly ball to left center field in his second at bat.
Justin Miller started and tossed three superb innings. The first two batters were over-matched. He struck one out and got a soft ground out to second on the other. He gave up a two-out hit on a pitch that jammed the batter and floated over the second baseman into shallow right field. He pitched a quick 1-2-3 second inning. In the third inning, a batter reached on a error by Gamboa with one out. (He tried to backhand the ball the way they are taught even though he could have gotten in front of the ball.) The base runner was caught stealing by Rafael Marchan. Miller followed with his only full count in an at bat that resulted in his only walk of the day. But then he retired the next batter.
Miller’s final line was 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, and at least 2 K. His fastball was 87-89 MPH. He was extremely efficient, only needing 32 pitches in three innings.
Jhon Nunez pitched next and gave up 4 runs in his first inning. Of the four singles he gave up only the first one was hit hard, a shot through the second baseman. The other three were a flair over the infield that the right fielder played into extra bases when it glanced off his glove, a pop down the RF line that eluded 3 fielders, and a soft liner over the shortstop. A second error and a walk helped the Tigers maximize the inning.
We caught a break when with runners on second and third and one out, Nunez recorded a strike out on a ball in the dirt. Marchan prepared to throw to first to complete the out when he noticed the runner jogging home from third. He ran him back and threw to Cole Stobbe for the out at third rather than first. The Phillies rolled the inning after that play. Nunez pitched a 1-2-3 fifth inning.
Manuel Silva followed with 3 hits in 2.0 innings. He gave up 2 doubles, but avoided giving up a run.
The Phillies trailed 4-1 after seven innings when I left.