SUNDAY MARCH 17, 2019
St. Paddy’s day. They always do it up green at the Phillies ballpark. The crowd turned out to be 11,304. That may be the biggest crowd ever in that park. Many spring training clubs struggle to top 6,000. As usual Frenchy’s Tiki Bar was jammed. Since Spectrum stadium only seats 7,500, That meant that 3,804 were standing. The day was near perfect. The temperature got up to 72 and it was cloudy so that sunburn was not a problem. It did spritz a couple of times, but no one seems to have noticed it. The day started with paratroopers from nearby McDill Air Force base jumping on second base from an airplane we couldn’t even see. The Phillies came out in their traditional green uniforms and hats. It seems weird to see them in those unis.
The Yankees was in a split squad situation(two games in two different parks, at the same time). We didn’t get to see any of their big boppers in the outfield, but they seemed to have the starting infielders here. If I am remembering right, those outfielders haven’t been to Clearwater this year.
Another lackadaisical day for the Phils offense. Paxton started for the Yankees and for 4.1 innings gave up one hit and two walks and completely shut them down. In all, the Phils managed only 4 hits the whole game. They hit several loud fouls out of the park. They wound up losing 7-3. This has got to be starting to be some concern to the team management. They haven’t hit for a while and the fact that at this time of the spring, they are facing fewer and fewer minor leaguers and more and more major league pitchers.
I was glad to Eickhoff start the game. I have a feeling he may be one of the keys to this year’s success. He threw three shutout innings. He gave up two hits and a walk, but struck out 5. I was very encouraged to see that he was this far along. I will say this. None of the starters on this team are going to pitch a complete game by opening day. I thought Morgan was having a good spring until today. He got bombed for 3 hits, a walk, and 4 runs in 1.1 innings work. The only relievers who had any kind of a day was Neshek, who pitched a perfect 4th inning and some minor leaguer named Brogdon who pitched a scoreless 9th while striking out 2.
I wonder how long the Phils are going to mess around with Hector Neris. The last time out, he could beat the world. This time out he gave up three hits, a double and a home run, but he did strike out two. Although I love his stuff, I think it is time to cut bait on him. If they are counting on him to be the closer, they are going to lose a lot of games they should have won.
The Phils are away the next two games.