Although the Phillies haven’t had a walk in the park spring training so far, there is still news from the Phillies camp. Whether it’s been inconsistency of the offense, to injuries, or possible manager and player problems the Phillies have had an interesting pre season thus far. In all of this news, the Phillies weren’t playing well for the majority of spring training but the last two games have stood out finally giving fans some hope for the regular season.
The beginning of the positive news around camp started when the Phillies defeated the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday afternoon. The Phillies bats finally woke up in the victory as the team posted 12 hits which included 6 extra base hits. The victory was the third victory for the Phillies in their first 15 Grapefruit League games. The club did not hit a triple in its first 14 games but in this game the Phillies hit for four. The triple that produced the most for the Phillies was a bases clearing triple hit by left fielder Dom Brown off of Baltimore Orioles pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez. Centerfielder Ben Revere, utility man Freddy Galvis, and outfielder Bobby Abreu also had triples in the game. Bobby Abreu also hit a double and walked in the win. Pitcher A.J. Burnett started the game and allowed 4 hits, which included a home run, and three runs in four innings of work.
The Phillies kept the momentum going as they picked up their 4th victory over the New York Yankees. The victory was the Phillies first time winning back to back games this spring. The club’s record this spring is now 4-10-2. The Phillies had 13 hits as a team and Dom Brown and Ben Revere both had two hits. The team is finally showing it’s offense firepower and looking like a major league offense. Even though the Phillies offense produced in back to back games for the first time this spring, the bigger story in this game was Roberto Hernandez’s pitching performance. Hernandez’s sinker was finally working and when that’s working this guy can get people out at the big league level. Hernandez started this game with five perfect innings and he got 10 groundballs in the start. Hernandez went into the 6th inning while only allowing only 1 hit, striking out two, and not walking a batter. Roberto Hernandez simply commented on his performance,
“I kept the ball down.”
When there is good news for the Phillies there is usually some negative news to balance the scales, everything can’t go right all the time unfortunately. People noticed that shortstop Jimmy Rollins wasn’t in the lineup for three straight games which began speculation that he was benched by manager Ryne Sandberg for saying “Who cares?” on Monday. Rollins comments were in reference to the bad spring training for the club and his individual effort so far. Rollins was then benched for Tuesday’s game to the surprise of many people. This lead to him sitting on the pine for the Wednesday and Thursday. Rollins’ third straight benching caused a ton of speculation about the relationship between him and the general manager, most people saying he was being benched for disciplinary purposes. Sandberg finally talked to Rollins on Thursday which got rid of the silence. Sandberg said, “I talked to him about that. First of all, I know and believe that everyone in the locker room, including my staff, cares. I wanted to him to clarify that because I wanted to make sure that he cared.”