Clicking through new archived images from Phillies training camp shows guys like Nick Williams and Jake Thompson in Phillies uniforms; something they may not get to wear this season, but giving you a glimpse into an exciting future. Everyone can't wait for these young Phillies to suit up and play some ball, making their big 8-3 victory today all the more meaningful.
The whole situation has led to earnestly delighted baseball scribe Hal Bodley to put his enthusiasm for a young Phillies team into writing:
"Mike Schmidt has"
Yeah yeah, Schmidt was the best ever, changed everyone's lives, champion of the world and our hearts, okay, great, good. Let's jump a few 'grafs.
"Michael Jack has seen this team torn down and"
We're still doing Schmidt? That's cool, I just thought we were talking about the young guys, or... here, let me just
"I first arrived in Clearwater to cover the"
[Furiously spins scroll dial on mouse]
Uh huh. Uh huh. You know what? Let's just get to the game they played today.
The University of Tampa is the cold, faceless Division II NCAA team that the scrappy underdog Phillies took on last year at this time and lost to, 6-2. We all had a good laugh that day; a laugh that sort of turned into crying and totally ruined a cook-out. We explained the loss away after a few days, or as then manager Ryne Sandberg put it, "It kind of shows where we're at as far as... seeing the work that needs to be done."
The Phillies sucked. Their manager knew it.
This year, things were different. A different manager knew that the Phillies sucked. Also, there were some different players available for the Phillies to use. What a season it's been already!
Jeremy Hellickson and Aaron Nola chewed through the first two innings with no trouble, except for Nola, who seemed to have immense trouble throwing a pitch for anything but a strike. Odubel Herrera championed the offense with a 2-for-2 day and a stolen base, helping the Phillies blow up for three runs in the first inning, probably shattering the confidence of the young college hurler on the mound forever.
Infielder Angelys Nina had a fun day as well, scoring a run and knocking in two with a single. The attack was kept mostly to one-baggers, except for a triple from Emmanuel Burriss. Prospect Roman Quinn manned center field, going 0-for-3 with a strikeout after Herrera left the game, and Andrew Knapp had DH duties, going 1-for-3 with 2 RBI.
The troublesome pitching spot was Edward Mujica's, who came in after Nola and gave up three hits and three earned runs. He gave way to six scoreless innings from the next six arms, including Elvis Araujo's, which helped hold the University of Tampa to three hits from the fourth inning to the end of the game.
It was an encouraging start to the act of playing baseball for the 2016 Phillies. They've already gotten one monkey off their back. Now for the other several hundred vicious monkeys.
Let's check back in with Hal Bodley.
"When I look back over the years,"
Lock up when you're done, Hal.