Saturday, February 26, 2011
2001 Topps #751 Keith Bucktrot/Dane Sardinha
Spring Training Game 1 - Saturday Afternoon, February 26th in Tampa
One Sentence Summary: Third string catcher Dane Sardinha's two-run single in the eighth drove home the tying and go-ahead runs as I blissfully watched the game on TV.
What It Means: The Phils won the first game of their Grapefuit League season, behind a few timely hits and mostly effective pitching. Cole Hamels looked just OK in his two innings of work, allowing an unearned run and two hits in his spring debut.
Top Hitters: Sardinha, Ross Gload and non-roster invitee Josh Barfield all had multi-hit games for the Phils. Ben Francisco turned a ball completely misplayed by Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher into a triple and eventually scored the team's first run.
Top Pitchers: Vance Worley and Mike Zagurski contributed scoreless frames. Reliever Jason Grilli, in camp with the Phillies' minor leaguers, earned the save despite allowing a few base runners in the ninth.
Featured Card: Sardinha made it into 13 games last season with the Phillies, getting the call when Carlos Ruiz went on the disabled list in June. He's featured on this Topps Draft Picks card with former Phillies top draft pick Keith Bucktrot. Bucktrot was taken as the team's third selection in the June 2000 draft and ten years ago, you would have easily picked Bucktrot to have made his Phillies' debut before Sardinha. However, Bucktrot would go 35-42 in six minor league seasons within the Phillies organization, never advancing beyond AA Reading. He was released during Spring Training 2006. Sardinha made his big league debut in September 2003, and he's since bounced from the Reds to the Tigers to the Phils.
Other Stuff: Apparently the game on Thursday against Florida State doesn't count against the official Spring Training stats or standings, so it's an exhibition exhibition game. I've changed the notation at the top of that post to remove the "Spring Training Game 1" label . . . Chase Utley was out of the line-up again (sore legs) as was Jimmy Rollins, who was a guest at the White House yesterday. In a B-game, reliever Danys Baez was lit up against a bunch of Blue Jays' minor leaguers, allowing five hits and five runs in two-thirds of an inning.