Thursday, March 10, 2011

2008 Topps Heritage #608 Ben Francisco

Phillies 7, Yankees 0
Spring Training Game 14 - Thursday Afternoon, March 10th in Clearwater

One Sentence Summary:  Roy Halladay mowed down the Yankee line-up for six shutout innings, as the Phils beat the bad guys, 7-0.

What It Means:  The Phillies website uses the verb "dominate" to describe Halladay's performance this afternoon against the Yankees.  As down as I am about Chase Utley's injured knee, at least the starting pitchers have looked very, very good.

Top Hitters:  It's getting redundant, but John Mayberry, Jr. (2-run home run) and Ben Francisco (2 for 4 with an RBI-double) both had nice games again.  While playing the whole game at second base, Josh Barfield went 2 for 3, raising his average to .538 (9 for 16).

Top Pitchers:  Halladay, Michael Stutes, J.C. Ramirez and Michael Schwimer combined for the four-hit shutout.  In his post-game interview, Halladay confirmed he was working on his curve ball throughout the game - with great success.

Featured Card:  I've already featured Halladay's card from the 2008 Topps Heritage set, so I thought I'd show some love for Francisco, who has quietly staked his claim to the job opening in right field.  In 10 spring games, he's hitting .345 and leads the team with 7 RBIs.

Other Stuff:  Prior to the game, the team announced it had extended manager Charlie Manuel's contract through the 2013 season.  He's won 810 games with the Phillies since taking over prior to the 2005 season, including four consecutive division titles and a World Series title in 2008.  By the end of his tenure, he will join former Phillies managers Gene Mauch (1,331 wins) and Danny Ozark (1,105 wins) as the winningest three managers in the franchise's history.  And is "winningest" even a word? . . . Infielder Brian Bocock has left camp and flown back to Philadelphia to have his wrist examined.  He left the game yesterday with the injury.

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