Spring training shifted from the Complex to Spectrum Field when the Phillies took on perrenial Division II powerhouse, the University of Tampa Thursday afternoon.
The Phillies used nine pitchers and added 4 minor leaguers to the roster for the game – Zach Green, Cack Coppola, Garret Cleavinger, and Tyler Viza. Two saw action.
The Tampa hasn’t come close to beating the Phillies since they spun a comeback 6-2 victory in 2015 (Andrew Amaro forced in the tying run with a bases loaded walk prior to Hector Neris surrendering a grand slam). The Spartans went on to a 43-13 record, #1 ranking, and NCAA D2 national championship. Tampa lost 8-3 in 2016 (41-10) and 6-0 in 2017 (39-14). They bowed out of post season play both years in the NCAA South Regionals. This year the Spartans entered today’s game with a 6-2 record.
Today’s game was about the Phillies’ pitchers. They shut out Tampa through ten innings while the offense scored nine runs (six in regulation, and only four of those were earned).
Jerad Eickhoff got the start and threw the pitching schedule of course with a five-pitch first inning which included a strike out looking on a nasty 76 mph curve. He came out to pitch the second inning. He allowed a one-out base runner when he hit a batter with a 91 mph fastball and recorded his second strike out swinging at a 77 mph curve.
- Eickhoff – 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, HBP, 18 pitches, 14 strikes, FB sat 90, t91 mph
- velocity – 90, 91, 90, 76, 90 | 90, 76, 90, 86, 91, 90, 90, 77, 77, 90, 90, 76, 90 (bold=strike)
Jose Taveras pitched the third inning. He gave up the Spartans’ first hit, a one-out, ground single down the left field line. He survived the inning on a deep fly out to left and a diving catch on a sinking line drive to center fielder Dannt Ortiz.
- Taveras – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 10 pitches, 8 strikes, FB sat 90 mph
- velocity – 90, 90, 90, 79, 90, 90, 90, 89, 87, 89
Tom Eschelman pitched the fourth inning. He gave up one-out and two-out singles that sandwiched a swinging strike out at an 84 mph off speed pitch. He escaped unscathed when J.P. Crawford speared a line drive ticked for left field.
- Eschelman – 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 15 pitches, 13 strikes, FB sat 90, t91 mph
- velocity – 90, 90, 90, 89, 90, 86, 90, 90, 84, 89, 82, 91, 90, 85, 89
Franklyn Kilome pitched the fifth inning. He got two quick outs on a fly ball and strike out looking at a 93 mph fast ball. After a line drive single to right, Eliezer Alvarez committed an error at third that put a second runner on base. Zack Coppola made a diving catch on a sinking line drive in right center to end the inning. He also had the first 3-ball count.
- Kilome – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 15 pitches, 9 strikes, FB sat 92-93, t94 mph
- velocity – 93, 92, 93, 81, 88, 91, 92, 93, 94, 82, 93, 90, 92, 79, 92
Enyel De Los Santos pitched the sixth inning. He induced 4 ground balls – a ground out to short, 2 ground singles to CF, and a 6-4-3 double play. He ran the second 3-ball count of the day.
- De Los Santos – 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 13 pitches, 9 strikes, FB sat 94-95, t 96 mph
- velocity – 94, 80, 82, 95, 96, ,93 95, 80, 94, 94, 79, 80, 85
Seranthony Dominguez pitched the seventh inning. After a soft single to right, he struck out the side.
- Dominguez – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 13 pitches, 11 strikes, FB sat 95-96 mph
- velocity – 96, 90, 94, 95, 88, 95, 95, 89, 88, 96, 96, 87, 95
Cole Irvin pitched the eighth inning. He retired the next three batters in order on a strike out, ground out, and a line drive to left. The strike out came swinging on an 87 mph pitch. He ran the team’s third 3-ball count.
- Irvin – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 12 pitches, 8 strikes, FB sat 91-93 mph
- velocity – 92, 91, 92, 87, 92, 78, 86, 93, 86, 91, 86, 93
Ranger Suarez pitched the ninth inning. He extended the string of retired batters to nine in a row with a strike out, fly out, and ground out. He got his strike out swinging at an 81 mph pitch.
- Suarez – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 10 pitches, 8 strikes, FB sat 91-92 mph
- velocity – 91, 91, 92, 84, 92, 81, 91, 92, 80, 91
Brandon Liebrandt pitched the tenth inning. He closed out the final 3 batters extending the staff’s string of retired batters to twelve on 2 strike outs and a pop up. He got his first strike out looking at an 89 mph fastball. He got his second looking at a 78 mph curve.
- 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 12 pitches, 9 strikes, FB sat 89, t90 mph
- velocity – 89, 89, 89, 89, 86, 89, 80, 78, 89, 83, 90, 77
The Phillies scored in the bottom of the first. Andrew Knapp led off and drew a walk. After J.P. Crawford popped out, Tommy Joseph launched a foul ball that one hopped off the LF concourse into the Bullpen Grille. He followed that with a scorched double down the left field line. Knapp scored on a throwing error and Joseph was thrown out trying to advance to third. Nick Williams and Scott Kingery singled before the inning came to an end.
The Phillies added two more runs in the fourth on Danny Ortiz double down the right field line. Kingery who reached on a throwing error and Rosales who singled scored on the hit.
The Phillies extended their lead with 3 runs in the seventh. They loaded the bases with a walk and two hit batters. Andrew Pullin drove in 2 runs with a single and Heiker Meneses drove in one with a sac fly.
The game was extended to allow the Phillies tenth pitcher to throw (remember Eickhoff threw the first two). In the bottom of the ninth, Zach Green jumped on the first pitch and launched a moon shot to left. After another hit batter, Andrew Pullin stroked a two-run HR bringing the final tally to 9-0. After a called strike three for the second out of the inning, the UT manager threw in the towel, getting his pitcher out of there on a good note.
The Phillies pitching was very good today. They put up a combined line of –
- 10.0 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, HBP, 118 pitches, 89 strikes
In addition to the offense mentioned above, Jesse Valentin hit a couple balls hard that were caught in the gaps. He played RF in relief of Dylan Cozens. Coz struck out twice, once swinging and once looking. He fouled off a couple off speed pitches, staying alive in his first at bat before swinging over an 82 mph pitch. He let a first pitch, 90 mph fast ball go by to start his second at bat, and saw slop on the next three pitches. He was caught looking at a 77 mph curve that froze him. J.P. Crawford made a couple disappointing air outs, a pop to the SS and a fly to center.
I won’t be attending too many Phillies’ Grapefruit League games. This is when I begin spending most of my time at the Complex, watching the minor leaguers. I received the following schedule from a friend –
February 27: Athletic Training and Strength & Conditioning Staff arrive in Clearwater
February 28: Minor League staff arrives in Clearwater
March 1: All players arrive in Clearwater; check-in to team hotels
March 1: Staff physicals and meetings
March 2: Player physicals begin
March 3: Player physicals continue
March 4: FIRST FULL SQUAD WORKOUT (Sunday)