Well, three more games have been played down in sunny Florida. And here’s what’s been going on:
Game 4: Phillies shut down Blue Jays, 7-0 (radio only)
- What abdomen issue? Cliff Lee appeared fine on the mound in Tuesday’s win, tossing a pair of solid frames. He gave up a pair of hits and a walk, but no big deal.
- Shane Victorino got the offense rolling with a two-run single in the third. He scored on a John Mayberry single that capped the scoring in the inning. Good to see a rally like this early on.
- Kyle Kendrick actually pitched “better” than Lee. He also threw two scoreless, but he struck out two and walked none. Look out, Doc — you’re next!
- Jeremy Horst made his spring debut with a one hit, one strikeout performance in the fifth. Ditto for Michael Schwimer in the sixth and J.C. Ramirez in the seventh.
- Jake Diekman, the big lefty with a power arm, hit 96mph on the gun during the ninth inning. When he develops and becomes comfortable with a breaking pitch, he’ll have a nice 1-2 punch and be a potential closer. Not with this team any time soon, of course.
- Vance Worley’s first start of the spring didn’t go as planned. He allowed two runs in his two innings of work, giving up four hits along the way. He was getting a bit squeezed by home plate umpire Mike Estabrook — all the pitchers were — but he also wasn’t incredibly sharp, either.
- Dontrelle Willis struggled again in his second appearance, apparently unable to locate much of any of his pitches. He only threw two-thirds of an inning, looking even more lost than he did the other day. A bad sign if anyone expected him to make the roster as the second bullpen lefty, but he’s still got time to straighten himself out. He claimed he fought a sore arm during the game — empty words or legit reason for a bad day?
- Chad Qualls had a much better outing this time around. He allowed one walk during his one inning of work, looking a bit better in every aspect: more accurate with location, improved pitch selection, etc.
- Michael Stutes looked much better in this appearance, too. Very much like we saw for the first half of 2011: good movement on his pitches and great location.
- Hector Luna hit a homer, leading off the bottom of the ninth with a bang. Good for him!
Game 6: Phillies squeak by Pirates in ten, 5-4
- Ty Wigginton crushed a pitch to deep center for a double to score Hunter Pence in the second. Would love to see him smoke line drives when he gets a chance to play — he’s got some pop, yeah, but a gapper is just as good to me. He then ran right into a double play on a bad read of a John Mayberry, Jr. line drive.
- Cole Hamels tossed 3.2 innings in his second start, looking solid until the fourth when he appeared to tire slightly. Wigginton’s boot didn’t help matters, of course, but the lefty seems like he’ll have himself a good start to the season at this rate.
- Mayberry went hitless again (0-for-2). He’s being a bit too aggressive at the dish. While he’s getting good pitches to hit and is taking good swings, the results aren’t there…yet. Once he clicks, look out.
- Michael Martinez continued with his very up-and-down spring with a big baserunning blunder in the ninth. On second with nobody out, he tried to advance to third on a grounder hit in front of him — an absolute no-no in any situation — and found himself headed back to the
- Phillippe Aumont is really going to be something special, guys. He’s still rough, yes — everyone knows this! I’m just waiting for him to get a mid-season call-up and blow folks away.
- Lou Montanez ended the game with a walk-off homer against Michael Dubee. Yup, that’s pitching coach Rich Dubee’s son. Wonder how dad really feels about this one…