His lack of energy and positive influence is a powerful force not to be trifled with. If only the Phils had found a way to work Freddy Galvis in to the mix. The Pirates probably would have just quit before the game even started and everyone could have just gone out for some pie.
Pittsburgh 6, Philadelphia 5. Manship, De Fratus and Diekman combined to allow two runs over the first six innings and the Phils took a 4-2 lead into the eighth, but B.J. Rosenberg struggled in that frame and the Pirates plated four runs to go up 6-4. The Phils loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the ninth, but managed to score just once.
So what’s the matter with the Phillies? Maybe they’re distracted. Maybe Jimmy Rollins is spending too much time on the bench telling Ryne Sandberg what it’s like to play in the World Series. Maybe the team just can’t get enough of Sandberg’s story about the time he told the world that his band of loveable losers that hadn’t been to the playoffs in 13 years was the team to beat in their division, then made sure it happened, hitting .286 with 16 homers before the All-Star break on his way to being named league MVP.
Maybe they just can’t figure out whether to start Cliff Lee or Miguel Gonzalez on opening day.
I don’t think it’s any of that, though. I think what’s wrong with the Phillies is that they’re about four good players away from being a good team. That’s not Ryne Sandberg’s fault, but it’s not Jimmy Rollins’s, either. Suggesting it is is a mistake.
Jeff Manship got the start for the Phillies. He entered with a 1.29 ERA and an 0.71 ratio over three appearances and went four innings, allowing two runs on six hits and no walks. Andrew McCutchen hit a solo home run off of him in the first. He allowed a run on a double and two singles in the third.
2.45 ERA and a 1.00 ratio for Manship after 11 innings.
Justin De Fratus threw a 1-2-3 fifth. He came back to start the sixth and allowed a leadoff single to McCutchen before being pulled. Dropped his ERA to 1.80 on the day and his ratio stays at 1.00.
Two batters, three outs for Diekman. 7.50 ERA and a 1.50 ratio. Opponents were hitting .348 against him for the spring coming into the game.
B.J. Rosenberg allowed a single in a scoreless seventh. He came back to start the eighth with the Phils up 4-2 and faced six hitters, allowing four singles and a walk. The Pirates would score four runs charged to him in the frame.
Rosenberg goes 1 1/3 innings in the game, allowing four runs on five hits and a walk. They sure stuck with him a long time. 6.14 ERA and a 1.23 ratio for him for the spring. He came into the game having pitched really well, with a 1.50 ERA and an 0.50 ratio over three appearances and six innings.
Mario Hollands took over for Rosenberg with one out in the eighth and Willy Garcia on first. He faced two men in the game and retired them both, dropping his ERA to 1.29 and his ratio to 1.00 after five outings.
The Phillies scored five runs in the game on eight hits.
Ryan Howard hit a solo homer in the sixth, his first home run of the spring. He was 1-for-4 in the game with two strikeouts to up his average to .206.
Darin Ruf was the only Phillie with more than one hit. He’s hitting .270 after going 2-for-4 with a double.
Brown 1-for-2 with a single and walked twice. He’s walked eight times but is just 6-for-32 (.188) with a triple.
Utley was 1-for-4 and drove in two runs. He’s hitting .207.
Rollins started and hit second with Tony Gwynn, Jr leading off. Rollins 0-for-4 to drop his average to .105. Gwynn is hitting .222 after going 1-for-4.
Mayberry 1-for-3 with with a walk to drop his average to .348.
Asche is up to .148 after going 1-for-3 with a walk. First single of the spring for Asche — he’s 4-for-27 with a single, two doubles and a home run.
For the record, Ryne Sandberg never making it to the World Series has a lot more to do with some awful Cubs teams than it did with Ryne Sandberg. His Cubs made the post-season twice in his career. In 1984, Sandberg hit .368 in the NLCS, but the Padres beat Chicago three games to two in the last five-game NLCS. Up 3-0 going into the bottom of the sixth in the deciding game five, the Cubs allowed two in the bottom of the sixth and four in the bottom of the seventh. In 1989 the Giants beat the Cubs four games to one with Sandberg hitting .400 in the set. Overall he hit 385/457/641 in 47 post-season plate appearances for his career. He was the MVP of the National League in ’84, hitting 314/367/520 in 700 plate appearances that season and winning a Gold Glove.
Lee is expected to pitch tomorrow night as the Phils face the Red Sox.