Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spring training: Phillies 6, Twins 3

Kyle Gibson faced five men and got them all on Sunday.
Great seats, hey buddy?

In this case, yeah. We were a bit to the first base side of home, four rows off the field. We could tell which Phillies hitters had shaved that morning when they were in the on-deck circle.

The Twins weren't so good. They were no-hit through five innings. And they played some really sloppy defense, some of which showed up on the scoreboard.

Trevor Plouffe committed at least three misplays at shortstop, only one of which was scored an error. None of them resulted in runs, but it wasn't pretty. Ben Revere turned a seemingly routine flyball into a double (triggering the six-run Philadelphia inning in the fifth), and Delmon Young dropped a foul ball, although that may have been intentional (it would easily have scored a runner from third, and the Twins were playing the infield in).

Plouffe's struggles accounted for two of the four "hits" the Phillies got off Francisco Liriano in his three innings. Liriano worked out of the jams.

Joe Nathan couldn't. He gave up all six runs. Revere almost got skulled by the first batter. (It was a cloudless day, and the glare off the outfielders' glasses was noticeable from my seats, but still ... gotta catch that ball.) The next guy pushed a bunt past Nathan for a base hit. Then came a pair of legit doubles, and in some order, a single, a walk, a stolen base, capped off by a three-run home off the right field foul screen. A rough outing, and Nathan wasn't very good, but it started with Revere's misplay.

Kyle Gibson relieved Nathan in the middle of the inning, He breezed through five hitters. I fully expect him to be sent to the minor league camp soon, maybe even Monday, but by all accounts he has impressed the decision makers. He certainly impressed me.

Eric Hacker, another pitcher I expect to be demoted soon, tossed a pair of scoreless innings, but it's probably too little too late for his opening roster chances.

I have more to talk about, particularly what I saw in the minor league complex Sunday morning and a Matt Anderson sighting, but ... we have a flight to catch early in the morning, and stuff to do in order to make that flight.

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