Monday, March 28, 2011

2010 Phillies Team Issue #10 Ben Francisco

Phillies 7, Astros 6
Spring Training Game 33 - Monday Afternoon, March 28th in Clearwater

One Sentence Summary:  In the final Florida Spring Training game of 2011, Ben Francisco's three-run home run provided just enough cushion as the Phillies defeated the Astros, 7-6.

What It Means:  Two things conspired to keep most of the regulars off the field today.  First, I'm guessing neither team wanted to tip its hand as these teams meet up for real on Friday afternoon.  The box scores are littered with guys making only their first or second appearance in a big league game this spring.  I didn't even remember Nate Bump was in the Phillies' system until his name popped up as the starting pitcher for today's game.  Second, the weather in Florida was wet and crappy.  No need to risk injury in one of the last exhibition games of the spring.

Top Hitters:  The big hits were Shane Victorino's two-run single in the first, an RBI-double from Raul Ibanez in the third and Francisco's home run in the fifth.

Top Pitchers:  Bump pitched five effective innings, allowing a run on eight hits.

Featured Card:  I'd love to feature a 2011 Ben Francisco card, but there aren't any.  Francisco, the team's new regular right fielder, has yet to be featured on a 2011 baseball card and here's hoping Topps fixes that problem with one of upcoming releases.

Other Stuff:  Cliff Lee pitched in a minor league game instead of facing the Astros.  Lee is the scheduled starter against the Astros on Saturday night . . . Chase Utley spoke with reporters for the first time in a few weeks this afternoon.  He didn't really give us a whole lot, other than he hopes to be activated prior to the All-Star break.  He won't be placed on the 60-day disabled list, which means the team is hopeful he'll return before June.

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