SPRING TRAINING, GAME 1: PHILLIES AT PIRATES (LIVE BLOG)

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Top 9th: Down 8-1 the Phils will send Slayden, Dobbs, and Mayberry to the plate.

Slayden gets a base hit and that is the Phils 5th hit of the day and 2 of those are Slayden’s and it is the first hit since his double a couple innings ago. Dobbs up now. Franzke just called him “Dobbert”

Dobbs singles up the middle, Slayden moves to second. Mayberry up, I want to see a homerun…

Mayberry hits a single to left, not a homerun, but I will take it. Slayden scores so now it’s 8-2. Chad Andy Tracy is up now and was announced correctly this time.

Tracy goes down swinging. 1 gone. Marcus Giles comes to the plate.

Sigh. Giles is caught looking for the second time today, 2 outs. Hewitt up again. I am predicting a strikeout.

Well I was wrong, he lined to the pitcher who scoops it up and throws him out to end the game.

Well that concludes the first live blog of the Phils 2009 (pre)season. This will probably be the last live blog until the regular season begins. Thanks for checking in. -Chris

Bottom 8th: Mike Koplove, Philly native, takes over on the mound.

On a full count Koplove strikes out Machado. 1 down. Jeff Salazar is up.

Koplove works himself into another full count and this time gets Salazar to fly out to Slayden. Home town boy looking good so far.

Shelby Ford is up, his parents either loved cars or that’s where he was conceived, he is the asshat who hit a 3 run homer already. And he goes down looking on a called third strike, so a pair of K’s for Koplove, nice work.

Top 8th: Marson leads it off for the Phils. Marson is out on a lazy fly ball.

Some guy I’m not sure I have ever even heard of, or maybe I wasn’t paying attention, just struck out. 2 down.

Ellison ends the inning on a broken bat chopper to second. That’s 8 Phils set down in a row.

Bottom 7th: Jake Woods is in to pitch now, he was picked up as a minor league free agent this offseason by the Phils. Lou Marson has taken over at catcher.

Woods gives up a lead off walk but then strikes out Pedro Alvarez but the ball gets away and the runner advances to second. 1 down.

Everyone’s favorite person Eric Hinske is up now. He flies out to deep center. 2 gone.

Woods gets Walker to chop one back to him and he tosses it to first for the third out.

Top 7th:Corey had to head to work so I’ll be taking over from here.

Andy Tracy was announced as Chad Tracy, the goof on the Diamondbacks, and promptly flew out just shy of the warning track.

Now Marcus Giles will make his Phillies debut. On a full count Giles rung up on a called 3rd strike, he thought it was a ball and was already jogging to first. Fail. 2 down.

Phillies 2008 first round draft pick Anthony Hewitt at the plate now. Also on a full count, Hewitt sliced a couple balls foul and then struck out.

1 2 3 inning for the Buccos.

Bottom 6th: Offseason addition Dave Borkowski shows the kids how it’s done. That’s the first 1-2-3 inning for the Phillies today.

Jason Donald has also given way to Marcus Giles at second base. Donald didn’t get much of a chance to impress. In his first at-bat, he walked on four pitches. The next, he went after the first pitched and popped it up.

Top 6th: Jason Ellison steps to the plate against Juan Mateo to start the sixth inning. A longer half inning would be nice, but instead we get another quick pop-up.

Slayden drives a double to left-center for the Phillies first extra-base hit of the game.

Greg Dobbs will get his first at-bat of the spring with a chance to narrow the deficit created by the Pirates in the last two innings.

Dobbs swings at the first pitch and grounds out to second base.

Mayberry Jr. digs in for his first plate appearance as a Phillie now. A run this inning to dampen the humiliation would be much appreciated.

Mayberry goes down swinging to end the top of the sixth.

It is spring training, but this is also the Pirates we’re talking about, so it’d be nice if this wasn’t such a one-sided affair.

Bottom 5th: Scott Nestor replaces Joe Bisenius (THANK YOU!) on the mound. Nestor is one mean looking mother fucker.

Another leadoff single for Pittsburgh.

Diaz scores on a double by Pierce. The Pirates lead it 6-1 and Nestor joins his buddy Bisenius in sticking the toes of the Pirates’ cleats up his ass.

Still with no outs, Craig Monroe walks. But Nestor has a chance to redeem himself by recreating the strikeout of Eric Hinske that ended Game 5 of the World Series and crowned the Phillies world champions.

No such luck. Nestor got ahead of Hinske, but ends up walking him to load the bases. STILL no outs in the inning as the Phillies’ relief prospects have fared horribly.

7-1 Pirates on an RBI ground-out. Dobbs bobbled the ball and first base was his only option.

8-1 Pirates after an RBI single by Anderson Machado.

Nestor induces a ground ball double-play to end his suffering, but he continued what Bisenius started. Ugly two innings from the Phils’ prospects. Whoever comes out of the bullpen in the sixth has an easy act to follow.

Top 5th: Bruntlett pops up quickly for the first out. Way too many pop-ups from the offense today.

Ronny Paulino breaking his Phillies at-bat cherry now. And yet another pop-up. This would be an excruciatingly painful game to watch if it were the regular season. Sadly, though, it wouldn’t be as bad as some of the games we played against the Pirates in the regular season last year.

Romaniuk hits a warning-track fly-out to end the inning, but Phillies fans everywhere rejoice as the mention of Eric Hinske’s name sparked fond memories of October.

Mets Update: The Mets have extended their lead over the Orioles to 7-2 in the fourth inning. Luis Castillo has four RBIs in the game. Even the worst of Mutts players enjoy doing well when it doesn’t matter.

Bottom 4th: Blanton is out after only one inning and Joe Bisenius is in to take over. After only one pitch he has a ground out to first.

Ronny Paulino is also in the game now for Coste. I’m sure he’s excited for that first at-bat against his old team. He’ll get it next inning.

Bisenius walks the second batter he faces, Moss, on five pitches. Like many other pitchers in this game so far, Bisenius has gotten wild.

Bisenius walks Vazquez prompting a mound visit from Dubee. Eight walks between the two teams in this game so far. How’s that for rust?

Ugly turn of events. Bisenius gives up a sharp ground ball to Wilson that Bruntlett couldn’t handle at third base. Jeremy Slayden hit Brandon Moss with his throw to the plate and the Pirates take a 2-1 lead. It wasn’t an error, but had Bruntlett fielded it cleanly, it would have turned into an inning-ending double-play.

Bisenius gets a strikeout for the second out of the inning.

Joe Bisenius’ nightmare inning continues with a three-run homer by Shelby Ward. Bisenius has been extremely wild this inning and when he is finding the zone, he’s getting hit hard.

Dobbs catches a pop-up off the bat of McCutchen to put an end to the inning. 5-1 Pirates after four.

Mets Update: The Mets are up by a score of 3-2 against the Orioles in Fort Lauderdale after three innings.

Top 4th: Jenkins leads off the inning against the Pirates’ fourth pitcher of the game. Jenkins drops in the Phillies third hit of the spring. He’s been on base in both at-bats today and now Stairs will try to replicate those results.

Mayberry is in to run for Jenkins. He’ll be fighting for that final spot on the roster along with Donald, but the fact that he’s an outfielder may work against him.

Stairs grounds into the second double-play of the game for the Phils. Two outs and no one on for Jason Donald.

Donald goes after the first pitch and pops out. Anti-climactic finish for the Phils after a good start to the inning.

Bottom 3rd: Morgan starts the inning with a base hit up the middle and Freddy Sanchez follows up with a double down the line on a hit-and-run for the Bucs. Just like that the game is tied. Rough start for Blanton.

Blanton recovers with his trademarked backwards K. One out in the inning.

Blanton strikes out Adam LaRoche looking (of course) to retire the side. Things started out ugly for JoBla, but he recovered quickly, getting a strikeout, a pop-up, and another strikeout. Unfortunately, he won’t be hitting today.

Top 3rd: Coste grounds out as the Phillies go through the order without getting a hit. We did that quite a few times to start off games last year, but it never gets any less frustrating.

As I type that, J-Roll drops a bloop single into the outfield for the Phils’ first hit of the game.

Victorino moves Rollins over to second with a high-chopper. Ibanez with his first RBI opportunity in a Phillies uniform.

Ibanez comes through with his first hit as a Phillie! A single through the left side of the infield that produces the first run of the spring for the Phillies. 2-out run production is always a welcome site, no matter what month the calendar says it is.

Ibanez has never been much of a base-stealer, but the Phils decided to get a hit-and-run going with two outs in the third. Howard flies out to end the inning, but it’s nice to see the aggressive base-running.

Bottom 2nd: Moyer gets a hand from the Pirates fans for his hustle on a foul ball. Nice to hear the old man isn’t letting up after finally capturing that elusive World Series title.

Moyer strikes out LaRoche! That’s the kind of foul-ball laden at-bat you expect with the professor on the mound.

All of a sudden, Moyer catches Capps’ wildness. After getting ahead 0-2, he has thrown five straight balls.

Second straight walk for Moyer as Moss takes his base on balls. His ball:strike ratio has plummeted quickly and now stands at 12:16.

Moyer gets his second strikeout of the inning. Two strikeouts, two walks. Sounds like an inning with Brett Myers pitching.

And another ground ball to Rollins gets Moyer out of the mini-jam. His day will be done with a pretty good line. 2 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 2 Ks, 4 groundouts and 32 pitches (20 strikes). It’s Blanton’s turn next. His fastball will look like it’s coming at one hundred miles per hour to these poor Pirates hitters.

Top 2nd: Matt Capps, the Pittsburgh closer takes the mound for the Pirates.

Howard strikes out to lead off the second inning. Get those K’s out of the way, Ry-guy. Let’s not flirt with 200 again in 2009.

Jenkins walks to become the Phillies first baserunner of the game.

Couldn’t agree more, moose. The bullpen seems to be the strength of this team, so you’d think the focus would be elsewhere early on. Still, they’ve got plenty of time left in spring training to sort out their rotation.

Stairs, in his first start since the last day of the regular season, draws a walk. The Phillies have got a rally going in the second inning without putting the bat on the ball. Jason Donald will come up with a chance to make a nice first impression with some ribbies.

Jason Donald walks on four pitches as Capps can’t find the strike zone. The bases are loaded, but you would have liked to see Donald get a chance to swing the bat. What’s the problem with Capps? I was under the impression that nothing got a closer’s adrenaline flowing like the second inning of the first spring training game.

D’oh! With the bases (walked) loaded and only one out, Bruntlett grounds into a double-play. If this were a regular season game you’d be furiously screaming at your television radio right now, but luckily you have the luxury of only having to shake your head in disappointment.

Bottom 1st: Moyer induces a ground ball to Rollins and he makes the play for the first out.

Freddy Sanchez singles up the middle. Moyer has only thrown three pitches and he’s already seen two batters. McClouth now up to bat.

Another ground ball from Moyer. This one results in a nice scoop by Howard and an error-less throw to first from the big slightly smaller man! They couldn’t turn the double play, but it’s nice to see Howard making that throw, which has seemed to be his biggest weakness over the years.

Moyer retires Doumit on yet another ground ball, this one from catcher Ryan Doumit. It’s not always accurate to read so much into these games, but it’s great to see three groundballs outs from Moyer as well as a quick inning. Moyer can often labor since his stuff isn’t conducive to putting away hitters when they’re in the hole.

After one inning, we’re scoreless. Jamie has 10 pitches (seven strikes, three balls), so it appears he’ll make it through two full innings.

Top 1st: The Pirates have taken the field and J-Roll is set to lead things off!

Rollins pops up on a 2-2 pitch to begin the Phillies spring training season. It looks innocuous, but if you remember, that’s how the World Series started.

Shane follows up with a strikeout. Raul will get his first at-bat as a Phil now.

Ibanez grounds out softly to third base and the Phils go down in order in the first. Howard, Jenkins, and Stairs will come to the plate next inning.

Pre Game: Scott Franzke and L.A. are finally on the air! Franzke announced among many things that the Pirates will be using nine relief pitchers today while newcomer Raul Ibanez will be batting third in the lineup. Shane Victorino will be hitting in the two hole. One of the decisions Charlie has to make this season is where to put Shane and Werth in the lineup. We saw the two switch often during the postseason and I assume things will be the same during spring training as Manuel tries to find a stable spot for the two.

Pre Game: Hearing L.A and Franzke voices and Franzke say “The first spring trainging game of the World Champion Phillies” is like listen to an Angel speak… -Chris

Pre Game: STFU Rush and GTFO!!! We want Phillies coverage!!! -Chris

It truly is a glorious day. Right now it is 75 degrees (with a high of 75) and mostly sunny. Well, not here in Philly, but it is in Bradenton, Florida,  where the Phillies will take on the Pittsburgh Pirates in their first Grapefruit League game of 2009. Getting out of bed today felt different yet familiar, because for the first time in five months, the Phillies will be taking the field as a team to play a baseball game. Knowing this puts a spring in your step and makes the air feel a little warmer, even if it’s still just a few degrees above freezing. Unlike preseason for other sports, Spring Training is celebrated, not only because it means that baseball is right around the corner, but because it means summer is as well. And for our Phillies this year, a chance to repeat as world champions lies around that same corner. If you are one who usually doesn’t care for these exhibition games in Florida, I recommend you change that attitude this year, because baseball is like a drug. And for the past 14 games, we’ve been on some hardcore shit. If you’re like me, you’re used to hyperventilating at the sight of a 3-2 count in the first inning and your nails are just beginning to grow back. There’s nothing like a few relaxed spring training games to ease you back into the habit of following every pitch without having a heart attack.

Unfortunately, today’s game will not be broadcast on television, so if you want to catch it, you’ll have to tune into 1210 AM on your radio. Even more unfortunate is that Harry Kalas will not be part of the broadcast team for today’s game. But luckily for you, we will be having a live blog and can provide you with your recommended daily dose of “outta here”.

In case you haven’t heard, the starting lineups have already been announced and Jamie Moyer is set to take the mound for the Phillies in the bottom half of the first. If there’s one player to watch listen for, it’s Jason Donald, who will be starting at second base for the Phillies. With Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz rehabbing offseason surgeries and the Phillies still in need of a right-handed option for the bench, Donald is in the thick of the race for the final roster spot. Chris Coste is slated to start at catcher, but it’s likely that we’ll get our first look at new backstop and former Buc, Ronny Paulino at some point during the game. Continuing with the theme of positional battles, none of the candidates for the fifth spot in the rotation are scheduled to pitch today, but local product Mike Koplove will get to make his first audition for a spot in the Fightin’s bullpen (and a chance to be on a reality TV show!). Also of note, Pat Burrell Raul Ibanez will be dropping anchor in left field for the first time as a Phillie (I’m sorry, it hurt me to write that strikethrough more than it hurt you to read it).

If you need more than that to get you ready for Phillies baseball, you don’t have a pulse. Be sure to join us at 1 PM to kick off the 2009 season with our live blog.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “SPRING TRAINING, GAME 1: PHILLIES AT PIRATES (LIVE BLOG)

  1. MooseWithFleas

    I wonder why the Pirates are going with all relievers today, considering their rotation is in shambles. You would think they would want to get right to work trying to determine who is going to make up that staff.

  2. you would think that, but the pirates are mostly retarded. never the less their relievers are owning our hitters and their hitters are owning our AAA trash pitchers.

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