For a day that boasted an 80% chance of showers it sure was beautiful in always sunny Lakeland, Fl. 6,693 people showed up to watch the split-squad Phillies take on our Detroit Tigers.
ON THE BUMP:
In his third start this spring, Phil Coke continued to impress me today. Today Cokey surrendered four hits-all of which were singles-in four innings of work. His only real mistake came after falling behind 3-0 to John Mayberry Jr. Coke then delivered what appeared to be a hanging breaking ball that Mayberry Jr. crushed to right field for a home-run. The bomb was similar to what his father did with the Kansas City Royals in the early to mid 1970s. Through nine innings of work this spring Coke currently has a 2.00 ERA.
After striking out Freddy Galvas to end the inning Jose Valverde let out a roar that could be heard anywhere inside the stadium. He surrendered just one hit and did not allow a run today. Say what you will about his on the field antics, I am a big fan of his work and his tom foolery.
Ryan Perry, Duane Below and Brad Thomas all chipped in with an inning of scoreless relief today.
Enrique Gonzalez found himself in a jam after allowing a leadoff triple. A strikeout and a double-play on an attempted squeeze gone wrong kept Enri-Ks ERA at zero for the spring.
Former Tigers first round pick/flame-thrower Matt Anderson got beat like a red-headed step child today in his comeback bid with the Phillies. Topping out at 96 mph, Anderson gave up three hits, including the game winning RBI single by Scott Thorman. As Charlie Sheen would say, Matt Anderson is apparently not #WINNING.
AT THE PLATE:
The Andy Dirks Show consisted of two singles and a walk today. Although the box-score reads 2-3, outfield prospect Andy Dirks reached base all four at-bats today. The fourth time came on an error early in the game. We are now a couple weeks into the season and Andy is hitting .474. One has to believe that if this trend continues, Mr. Dirks just might find a spot on the big league club.
Catcher Bryan Holaday belted a game tying home-run to deep left field in the eighth inning. In the second inning Holaday showed off his arm behind the dish when he threw out Wilson Valdez at second base. As I’ve mentioned before, I expect big things from Bryan Holaday. If you haven’t already, put him on your list of prospects to keep an eye on this season.
In a game that Tigers hitters were only able to muster up five hits my list of positive things to talk about at the plate is pretty short. As I mentioned before first baseman Scott Thorman drove in the game-winning run in the ninth. Beyond that, Tigers hitters definitely had an off day.
The Tigers travel to Port St. Lucie tomorrow as they take on the New York Mets. Brad Penny is scheduled to start the game. Chris Oxspring, Alberto Alburquerque, Lester Oliveros, Brendan Wise are slated to pitch in relief-per Jason Beck.
I will return to Lakeland on Tuesday when the Detroit Tigers take on the Florida Marlins.