Friday the 13th?
It was a real Friday the 13th today for pitcher Blaine Neal, who likely pitched his way into the minors forever, losing the Phillies’ 2 run lead in the 9th against the Pirates. The Phillies lost 6-5 and Neal, who has not seen action in the majors since 2005, likely will not again. But really, that is the least of the worries for the Phils.
For the second day in a row, the Phillies could not muster any offense until the 6th inning, when it exploded into a 5 run gain. Prior to that, it was nappy-nap time for the Phils. Jason Donald and Ryan Howard led the mini-stampede; Donald went 2 for 5 in the game and Howard whacked a 2 run homer in the 6th. For the most part though, the offense has been quiet; they are obviously saving it up for April. Chris Coste, however, needs to get the monkey off his back and soon; Coste has not gotten a hit yet in grapefruit league action.
Great news at 3rd base! Pedro Feliz is back in action and said he is ready to go. So, Opening Day? No problem! And no Friday the 13th woes here either. As for Chase Utley, he began sliding drills today and so far, so good. He hopes to get in a live game next week sometime.
And in former-Phillie Pat Burrell news, Burrell took out a full-page ad in both The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Daily News today to thank the Philadelphia organization and the fans for his 9-year run. And if you did not love Pat before, you have got to admire him now. A very classy move; hopefully, once he decides to retire, he will return to Philadelphia and go out as a Phillie, like Mike Lieberthal did last year. The ad is in the photo to the right; click on it to enlarge and read the whole thing. Best of luck, Pat!
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