This morning I was able to watch my first FCL game. Actually, my third game, but I was involved in scoring the games and wasn’t taking exclusive notice of the young Phillies. I would normally include a short FCL recap as part of the daily Affiliates’ Recap. But, since I saw this game in person; since it was the “first” game I personally could report; and since I have some free time this afternoon; I thought I would write a recap.
The FCL Phillies lost to the Tigers West, 6-4, and it wasn’t that close.
Tom Sutera (0-3, 9.00) made his third rehab appearance. He breezed through the first inning. In the second inning, he ran into some difficulty as the Tigers started making hard contact. A single and a double put runners in scoring position. A run scored on a ground out to short. A sharp single to left moved the lead runner to third. He scored on an errant pickoff throw. Sutera was baled out when CF Jose Cedeno made a diving catch on a sinking line drive and doubled the runner off first. Sutera gave up a leadoff triple in the third. After a strikeout, he got a sharp ground ball to Edward Barboza. The infield was drawn in but Barboza bobbled the ball and had to settle for flipping the ball to Grenny Cumana who had covered first. Sutera struck out the final out of the inning.
Sam Jacobsak (0.00) made his second appearance this season and retired six consecutive batters, striking out three, getting two ground outs, and a popup. He had zip on his FB and located his pitches well.
DJ Jefferson (12.60) pitched two innings. He was solid in the sixth. He struck out two and gave up a single. He hit a batter but got a fielder’s choice to end the inning. His FB looked fast but straight. His CB was a swing-and-miss pitch. Jefferson wasn’t as fortunate in the seventh. He struck out the side in the inning. However, he started the inning with a walk, gave up a one-out single, and a two-out HR. He walked a batter on 4 pitches before getting the final out. Looked a little inconsistent with the strike zone in the seventh.
Corey Phelan made his professional debut in the eight and finished the game. He looked pretty good. He was efficient, throwing 17 pitches (14 strikes) over the two innings. He got a lot of first-pitch swings. In the eighth, he got a ground out and an infield single on first pitches. He got a double play from the next batter on 4 pitches. In the ninth, He got a leadoff ground ball to short that Jamari Baylor turned into an infield single with an extra step and a double-pump. It was a routine play to his right that was scored a hit. I considered it an error. Phelan struck out the next guy on 4 pitches, and then got an 0-1 ground ball to short. Baylor air-mailed an offline throw down the RF line. Phelan got out of the inning with a first-pitch ground out to second, the runner couldn’t score on the play, and a fly ball to center. Phelan kept his composure and escaped the mess his shortstop created. His stuff looked good. The Tigers swung a lot but made weak contact.
The Phillies closed within 3-1 with a run in the fourth inning. Ben Pelletier reached on a single and went to third on Andrick Nava’s double. Pelletier scored on Jose Cedeno’s ground out to second. Trailing 6-1 in the seventh, the Phillies got a one-out triple from Wilson Valdez, Jr. He scored on Leandro Pineda’s ground out.
The Phillies mounted a “come back” in the ninth if you can call it that. With one-out, they drew 4 consecutive walks. Jamari Baylor’s walk forced in the run. Their final run scored on Carlos De La Cruz‘ ground out. The game ended on a ground out that was hotly debated. Apparently, the Phillies coaches believed that the first baseman was pulled off the bag on the throw. There may have been some merit to their position because the first baseman bounced up and immediately threw home to cut down the trailing runner, the tying run. But, the home plate umpire quietly signaled out. When the call was upheld at first, it didn’t matter. Neither run would count.
The Phillies got runners into scoring position 3 times – twice with two outs, once with one-out and couldn’t get a run across. Edward Barboza went 2-3 with a double. Wilson Valdez went 2-2 with 2 runs scored, triple, and walk.
Several fellows caught my eye. Sam Jacobsak is probably too good for this level. The Tigers’ batters looked overmatched. Corey Phelan looked good. I can’t wait to see him again in a more relevant portion of a game. DJ Jefferson flashed really good before trouble, trouble that did include striking out the side. Wilson Valdez, Andrick Nava (1-2 with a double), and Edward Barboza all looked good at the plate.
Disappointments include De La Cruz who looks lost at the plate and hasn’t gotten a hit since his demotion from Clearwater. (I did learn that he was stuck in NY last year with no place to work out.) Jamari Baylor looked awful at the plate. He struck out four times. The fourth time he stepped out of the box and stared the plate umpire down after each called strike. He appeared to take that to the field with him as he looked bad on two balls that put Phelan in the jam he escaped. He needs to stop showing up umpires and has to leave that stuff on the bench and not take it onto the field with him.
Wilson Valdez (the son of our Wilson Valdez) entered the game when Grenny Cumana was struck in the helmet with a pitched ball in the third inning. Grenny was escorted off the field and into the clubhouse. Later, he returned to the dugout. Said he was okay as he passed. Jefferson Encarnacion was walking with a full leg brace. Former Phillies’ farmhand Gustavo Armas is working for the Phillies. Manager Roly de Armas has departed to be with the US Olympic team.
The FCL Box Score.