Phils topped the Tigers 10-6 this afternoon for their first spring victory.
Kyle Kendrick started the game for the Phils and got hit hard in the first, allowing three runs on two walks, a single and a three-run double by Nick Castellanos. He allowed a leadoff walk and uncorked a two-out wild pitch in the second, but kept the Tigers off the board.
The Phils came into the game with starters Cliff Lee and Roberto Hernandez having allowed three runs in four innings pitched in their starts combined. Kendrick goes two innings, allowing three runs on two hits, three walks and a wild pitch. So after three games, the starters have allowed six earned runs in six innings on eight hits and three walks (9.00 ERA with a 1.83 ratio).
Kendrick made 30 starts last year and walked more than two in five of them. Walked three in two innings today.
Righty Sean O’Sullivan struck out two in a 1-2-3 third. He came back for the fourth and retired the first two before hitting Luis Exposito with a pitch. O’Sullivan retired the next hitter on a popup to Hernandez at second to end the frame.
O’Sullivan suddenly seems like he has a shot for some early starts, given the combination of injury questions around pitchers like Hamels, Martin and Pettibone and the miserable early opinions around Gonzalez. The 26-year-old righty had a 6.14 career ERA over 193 2/3 innings in the majors before throwing to a 3.96 ERA in 25 innings for the Padres in 2013. He had a 1.80 ratio to go with his 3.96 ERA last year — 31 hits and 14 walks as opponents on-based .393 against him. He didn’t pitch very well, 3.96 ERA or not. Pitched well today, throwing two scoreless innings without allowing a hit or a walk while striking out three.
Aumont pitched the fifth, coming off of a miserable outing his first time out and set the Tigers down in order.
Cesar Jimenez threw a 1-2-3 seventh in his first official appearance and followed that up by setting the Tigers down in order in the eighth. The 29-year-old lefty walked ten in 17 innings for the Phils last year, which is a lot. Had a 0.00 ERA and an 0.89 ratio in nine innings through his first eight appearances and a 7.88 ERA and a 2.00 ratio over eight innings his last 11 times out (and walked seven in those eight innings). Did a better job at preventing walks at Triple-A, throwing to a 3.12 ERA and a 1.31 ratio while walking 26 in 66 1/3 innings.
Justin De Fratus made his first appearance in the ninth. He allowed back-to-back singles to the first two batters he faced before striking out the next three to end the game with runners on first and second.
De Fratus struck out 42 in 46 2/3 innings for the Phils last year. Walking 25 was the problem and it led to a 1.50 ratio to go with his 3.86 ERA. Walk rate of 2.0 per nine innings in 424 1/3 innings in the minors and 4.8 in 61 1/3 innings in the majors. I would guess his walk rate will go down in 2014.
The Phillies scored eight runs in a bottom of the third that featured three walks, two singles, a hit-by-pitch, a Tiger error and a three-run homer by J-Roll.
Rollins’s shot came off of righty Jose Valdez with two outs in the third. He was 1-for-1 with a home run and two walks in the game.
Gwynn started the game in center for the Phillies and went 0-for-3 with a walk. He’s 0-for-3 with two walks so far. Think we should be following what he does offensively and especially defensively when playing center given the Phils seemingly neverending problem trying to backup center field. Things I know for sure: 1) John Mayberry is really, really not the answer 2) Cesar Hernandez, a backup infielder, really, really is not the answer. The Phils have so many problems it’s hard to feel like backup center fielder should go near the top of the list. I think there’s potential for a moral victory here, though.
Utley started at second and went 1-for-3.
Franco started at third and was 0-for-1 with a walk and no errors. He’s seen action in all three official games and gone 0-for-5 with two errors and two walks.
Byrd 2-for-3 with two singles and 3-for-5 with an RBI in the early going.
Howard 0-for-3 and struck out twice. 1-for-5 with a single so far.
Brown 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. 1-for-6 overall.
Ruiz 0-for-1 with a walk and an RBI. 0-for-3.
Lou Marson doubled to start the bottom of the eighth, which led to a Phillie run. He was 1-for-1 with a double on the day in his first action.
Ruf 1-for-3 with a single that drove in a run in the second inning. 1-for-3 with two RBI on the day. 2-for-6 with two walks so far.