Wednesday, March 2, 2011

2007 Topps Heritage #62 Josh Barfield

Tigers 6, Phillies 2
Spring Training Game 4 - Tuesday Afternoon, March 1st in Clearwater

One Sentence Summary:  Cliff Lee's first start of the Spring didn't exactly go as planned, as the Tigers jumped to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning and never looked backed.

What It Means:  Christopher saw another loss, but I'd take a Spring Training loss over a day at the office any day -

Are the Phillies too good for their (spring training) home? Four games into the grapefruit league season, the Phillies are 2-2, but both wins have come on the road. The Phils have been unable to win at Bright House Field this season, losing their most recent contest against the Tigers 6-2 yesterday, despite Cliff Lee's return to the Phillies rotation.

Lee had a bit of a rocky start in his first spring training start for the Phillies. He hit the first batter he faced and gave up a run-scoring triple in the first to Ryan Raburn. Raburn also had a two-run home run in the fifth against the Phils' Eddie Bonine. After Lee's shaky effort against his first few batters, he settled down and struck out three over his two-inning stint with a few great knee-locking pitches.
Kyle Kendrick pitched the third and fourth innings and had very little trouble. In addition to Rayburn's home run. Eddie Bonine gave up two other runs to the Tigers as they finished up their scoring in the sixth.

Brian Schneider and Josh Barfield each had two hits for the Phillies, but the Tigers pitching kept the Phillies off-balance for most of the game. Their only threat came late in the game when they managed to load the bases off Enrique Gonzalez. However, that threat ended with a fly-out, and the Phils ended up leaving nine men on base during the game.

Today brings the Orioles to Bright House Field and one last chance for me to watch the Phillies attempt to win at Bright House Field before I head back north. Temperatures are going to be in the high 70s here in the Clearwater area today. By the time I get home tonight, it should be in the mid-30s. As always, there's no place like home, but in my opinion, Florida in March is a close second.

Top Hitters:  Second baseman Barfield, who has an outside chance of making the team given Chase Utley's bum knee, is now 4 for 5 this spring.  Ben Francisco drove in his fifth run of the spring.

Top Pitchers:  Kendrick, as mentioned in Christopher's field report.

Featured Card:  Barfield is a non-roster invitee and the son of former big-leaguer Jesse Barfield.  He's played in parts of four seasons in the Majors with the Padres and Indians.  Now normally I would never feature a baseball card like this - He's not officially a Phillie (yet), this is a non-Phillie baseball card, and I usually don't post cards of players on the current roster following a loss.  However, it's Spring, I'm feeling punchy and rules are meant to be broken.

Other Stuff:  Domonic Brown went 0 for 3 with two more strikeouts.  I have a bad feeling about this . . . Quote of the day from new Indian Chad Durbin, who was not re-signed by the Phillies partially due to the money it took to sign Lee, "I'd take Cliff Lee over Chad Durbin."

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