Sunday July 19, 2020
Finally, I had a Sunday with baseball. Although a 6:00 pm start was odd, It seems like MLB is doing everything they can to make this season weird. Finally we had a real preseason game against another team. To my surprise, they were playing by the same rules as the intra-squad games and a couple of innings ended in the middle of a team rally at the whim of one of the managers.
Zack Wheeler started for the Phils against the Orioles Tom Eschelman for the Orioles. Eschelman, remember him? The Phils traded him to the Orioles for international money. I wonder who they signed with that money? The Phillies have not been good at recognizing and acquiring young talent for almost a decade now.
The pitchers are still ahead of the hitters. Both Wheeler and Eschelman had very good outings. Actually, I didn’t think Wheeler looked as sharp as he did in the Phils Intra-squad game that I saw him in. Wheeler gave up a solo homer to the O’s catcher Severino in the second inning and another run in the fourth. In all, he went 4.1 innings and gave up 4 hits and a walk while striking out 4. You could say that Eschelman outpitched him, because he went 4 2/3, gave up 4 hits a walk and no runs. Wheeler was replaced by Tyler Brogdon a left hander who looked like he might develop into a lefthanded specialist, but this is the first time I saw him. Jose Alvarez came in gave his usual solid performance for an inning. It was encouraging to see Arano follow with a scoreless inning . At this point in the game, the stream on the computer froze in place and I couldn’t bring it back. The box score for the game said that McClain and Davis followed with an inning each and each giving up a run. MLB has some technical issues to address.
Hitting has been far from impressive, at anytime this preseason. Today was no different. The Phils did manage 8 hits, but 7 of them were singles. They all added up to just one run and the Phils lost 4-1. By the way, the big hit in scoring that line run was by Mickey Matook, a journeyman outfielder last cut by the Tigers and who doesn’t figure to make the roster this year. With the real games starting Friday, is it time for concern about the anemic hitting?
Musings: I saw in a Mets game that the Mets had used cutouts of fans sitting in the seats behind home plate . I thought it added a little something. The empty stadium, with echoes don’t bother me. I have been watching Rays games for years. There was almost as many people in the stadium as there normally is for a regular season Rays game.
The Yankees are next.