Stott gave the crowd something to cheer about in the Phillies first bat of the game when he delivered a souvenir ball to a lucky fan in the lawn past the right field fence. The lessons imparted by Schwarber appear to have paid off.
Nola gave up four runs over the second and third innings. A confluence of fielding errors, questionable calls, and missing JT behind the plate led to Nola’s performance appearing a lot less on point than it was. The kid from Baton Rogue looked sharp and confident and on track to start the season strong.
Sosa went long twice, driving in Bohm with one, and accounted for three of the Phillies seven runs. After 14 at bats this spring, he’s hitting .429. One hopes this is the beginning of a breakout year for the 27 year-old Panamanian shortstop. If he winds up hitting in the neighborhood of .250 to .275, he’ll offer the team plenty of versatility and options.
Edmundo Sosa crushes his second home run of the day! pic.twitter.com/BFx5oq6sEz— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) March 9, 2023
Jake Cave continues to make a strong case why he deserves a spot on the roster. He hits and hustles to make big plays, including a hell of a diving catch this afternoon.
Kimbrell, Dominguez, and Bellatti looked strong.
Josh Harrison had a single at-bat and grounded out. His defense, however, looked more than impressive. He got in front of the ball and made excellent throws to first. And all the while he appeared to truly be enjoying himself. (It’s a shame that there was no footage of him posted anywhere.)
Much has been written about Castellanos. Despite many of his at-bats not resulting on getting on base so far this spring, he’s showing more discipline than he did last year and he’s making more contact. Spring is for figuring out things, trying new strategies, and there’s good reason to believe that Casty will emerge as a big bat come the regular season.
Tomorrow Wheeler gets the ball. He mentioned after his last outing how he felt pressured by the clock. He should be settled in and ready to bring back the Ace Wheels show for us.
Random observation: In front of me in line today at Diamond Outfitters was a guy in an Acuna Jr. jersey. It was impossible not to recall when Acuna was hit by a pitch in Game 2 of the NLDS. Up to that point, Wheeler was throwing a truly stellar game. Acuna fell to the ground and medical personnel rushed to him while Wheeler waited, alone on the mound. After a long while - and the crowd jeering Wheels - Acuna finally stood up and made his way to first and was miraculously healed of any injury. If it was a ploy to get into Wheeler’s head, it seemed to work, and the rest of the inning was something to forget.
Anyway, I got the attention of the guy in the Acuna jersey and gave him a proper welcome-to-Clearwater greeting.