Phillies Move into First Place, 8/16/2017

Wednesday afternoon, the GCL Phillies began a home-and-home series with the GCL Blue Jays.  The Phillies culminated a relentless drive to gain the top spot in the division with a victory over the Yankees West on Tuesday coupled with a Blue Jays loss.  Today the teams played for sole possession of first place.

Ethan Lindow (pronounced dow like in DOW Jones or DOW Chemical) earned his second win with two-hit innings.  He allowed just one run, walked two, and struck out five.  Lindow exhibited the ability to mow thru batters (retiring the Jays in order in four of his six innings), as well as the ability to limit damage and pitch out of trouble (his second inning started double, single, and a hard line drive out to left before he settled down and got a come backer and an inning ending strike out; and in the fourth when he walked two batters and escaped with another inning-ending strike out).

The 18-year old lefty was drafted out of a Georgia high school in the fifth round and throws his 2-seam fastball in the mid to upper 80s – 85-88 mph.  Lindow’s change up and curve ball were really working.  He retired the Yankees on 4 pitches in the first inning, and had thrown only 66 thru the fifth.

Lindow gave way to LHP Denny Martinez who immediately created trouble for himself when he hit the first batter with a 2-strike count.  A double to left  and a single tallied a run and put runners on the corners.  After a fly out to shallow right field. a double to left  brought home another run and ended Martinez’ afternoon.

Anton Kuznetsov entered the game with runners on second and third, one out, and protecting a 2-run lead.  A soft chopper to Gunnar Buhner at third cut down the runner at the plate for the second out.  (This was easily the correct play, the ball wasn’t hit hard enough to turn two, and since he had to charge the ball his momentum was toward home plate.)  AK47 (that’s his number. okay, it’s not but wouldn’t that be cool?) got the third out with another ground ball to an infielder, Jonathan Guzman, and a force out at second.

Kuznetsov pitched the eighth and retired the side on a K, BB, and 6-4-3 DP.  I was surprised when he toed the rubber in the ninth, making this his longest appearance of the season. Anton provided some suspense, allowing his first run of the season.  He got the final out on a come backer with the tying run on second and the go-ahead run on first.

The game marked the professional debut of SS Dalton Guthrie.  The Florida Gator batted second.  Lead off batter Keudy Bocio, playing center field for the banged up Simon Muzziotti, walked to start the home first.  Guthrie followed with a walk of his own.  Catcher Rafael Marchan followed with a fly ball into left center.  Bocio held up to make sure the ball dropped in.  Guthrie decided more quickly that the ball would find earth.  He chased Bocio around the bases as both scored on the hit.  Initially, I thought it was a single with Marchan taking second on the throw, but I was wrong.  It was scored  a double.  Marchan eventually scored on Kevin Marchan’s RBI single.

In the second inning, Bocio lined a one-out single to left and scored on a HR that Guthrie crushed to left center field.  The Phillies threatened to add runs a couple more times, but never got the hit that could have broken the game wide open.

Ninth round pick, Jack Zoellner (pronounced zell ner) started at third base.  He was replaced in the top of the seventh.  Guthrie was replaced at the top of the fourth.  (Guthrie showed a very strong arm on the plays he made.)

The Phillies collected 11 hits.  Marchan, Quincy Nieporte, and Jesus Henriquez had 2 hits each.  Bocio and Guthrie scored 2 runs each fronm the top of the order.  Guthrie and Marchan had 2 RBI each.  Bocio and Henriquez had a stolen base each.

There was a high level of tension in the air, with playoff intensity, or at least playoff implications.  The Blue Jays twice used pinch runners, a practice that is usually eschewed during GCL games.

I can’t wait for tomorrow’s game in Dunedin.

This is actually a replay of the 2016 season when the same two teams vied for the division title.  The Phillies caught the Blue Jays late in the season and went on to play in the championship series.  This year, just as last  year, the two teams have the two best records in the GCL.

There are a lot of Phillies scouts on hand.  Sal Agostinelli arrived today.  He remembered me from Instructs.  We spoke briefly a couple of times.  Nothing to report, though.

Simon Muzziotti has a slight limp.  He hasn’t been dressing for games since he was removed from a game last week after a play at the plate.

Bailey Cummings left the Complex yesterday under circumstances that led me to believe he was going out for a medical consultation.  I learned today that he had an MRI and is okay.

(Editor’s note: I neglected to mention that Roy Halladay is back at the Complex.  He came out of the clubhouse and watched a little of the game yesterday before going back inside.  We can hope that he has been and/or is working with our young pitchers.)

I hope you enjoy this update.  I hope to provide more elaborate coverage for the Phillies as they continue their playoff push.  I have turned off comments for this article.

Here’s the affiliate scoreboard from MiLB.

Transactions:

  • 8/16 – Phillies optioned RHP Nick Pivetta to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 8/16 – Dalton Guthrie assigned to GCL Phillies from Williamsport Crosscutters
  • 8/16 – OF Yahir Gurrola assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters from GCL Phillies
  • 8/15 – Phillies placed LF Daniel Nava on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to August 12, 2017. Lower back strain.
  • 8/15/- Phillies recalled CF Cameron Perkins from Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 8/15 – SS Angelo Mora assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Reading Fightin Phils
  • 8/15 – RHP Adonis Medina assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters from Lakewood BlueClaws
  • 8/14 – OF Adam Haseley assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
  • 8/13 – Phillies sent RHP Casey Fien on a rehab assignment to Clearwater Threshers
  • The organization’s rosters are up to date.
  • The organization’s injury list is as up to date as I can make it.
  • The organization’s Rule 5 eligibility list is as accurate as I can make it based on the information I was able to find.