CLEARWATER, Fla. — Uh Oh. After sailing as smooth as the Gulf waters, the Phillies staff ran into a buzz-saw just one week to the day before Opening Day.
J.A. Happ walked five batters in five innings and gave up two runs during a 5-4 loss to the Braves Monday.
Ryan Madson, who hasn’t had the best of springs, sporting a shiny 6.43 ERA during exhibition season, gave up the winning solo home-run to Erik Hinske on a 3-0 pitch right down the shoot. Speaking of Eric Hinske, doesn’t this guy seem to pop up everywhere? Seriously: 1) final World Series strike out vs. Lidge, 2) an appearance with the Yankees during the WS, and 3) now he’s on the Braves. Obsess with the Phillies much Eric? Anyway, needless to say, Madson and Happ didn’t have their best stuff today.
Let’s preface this next point with a disclaimer: One of the High Hopes staff, who will remain nameless, is in love with Joe Blanton. However, Blanton, was dinged for 11 runs on 11 hits over five innings during an inner-squad minor league game this today. He also looks like a hedgehog… sorry he does.
Yesterday, Cole Hamels, struggled for the second straight start against the Twins, giving up five runs on seven hits in 6.1 innings.
These are all awful, ugly statistics, which most fans would be quite disgusted with… if it were May 29th. The good news is we’re still in March, with the first regular season game still one week away. As stated before, you take the good with the bad during spring training. The hope is that all of the starters have gotten all of the kinks out at this point and are ready to go for April 5th down in D.C. Besides, with one being in Clearwater for over a month now, it wouldn’t be shocking if most of regulars are just plain bored by now.
The good news is that, also as stated before, the Phillies staff has been one of the standouts this Spring season in the National League. That’s also not mentioning the fact that the team still has the best lineup in the National League.
However, it goes without saying that today was not a good day for the Phils’ hurlers.