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March 24 2007

If Jon Lieber was having trouble accepting being sent to the pen it's hard to blame him.  He's been better than any of the Phillies' starting pitchers this spring, and nothing changed this afternoon as Adam Eaton was hit hard in a 7-0 loss to the the Reds.

With the loss the Phils drop to 8-15 in spring training.

Eaton went 4 2/3 innings for the Phils, allowing five runs on eight hits and three walks.  Four of the eight hits he allowed went for extra-bases, a double, a triple and two home runs. 

Eaton's spring ERA puffed to 6.06.  Lieber's 1.12 ERA remains the best of any of the nine pitchers to start a spring training game.

Clay Condrey entered the game in the bottom of the fifth with two outs and runners on first and third.  He kept Eaton's line from being worse by getting one of the Alex Gonzalezes to ground out to end the inning.  Condrey returned to pitch the sixth and threw a 1-2-3 frame, lowering his spring ERA to 4.22.

Fabio Castro pitched the seventh and allowed a run on three hits, two of which went for extra-bases.   It could have been worse for Castro, but Brandon Phillips ran into an out trying to stretch a double into a triple.  Castro's has thrown to a 9.22 ERA.

Eude Brito pitched the bottom of the eighth and allowed a run on a solo homer to Chad Moeller.  Brito's thrown to a 3.00 ERA in three spring innings.  One of him or Castro sure looks like they have to make the team as the other lefty besides Matt Smith in the pen. 

The Phils had six hits on the day, all of which were singles.  Howard was 0-for-3 and is hitting .224.  Burrell was 0-for-2 with a walk and is hitting .190.

Garcia 0-for-1.  Dobbs 1-for-1 to raise his average to .386.  It's looking more like the Phils might start the year with Garcia and Dobbs on the roster and Coste waiting for his injured hamstring to heal.

Brett Myers will start for the Phillies on opening day against John Smoltz.

Lieber has a mild strain of his right oblique muscle and the team does not know how long he'll be out.  That's not good.

Things look bleak for Gavin Floyd.

The Phils play the Twins tomorrow afternoon.

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