Results tagged ‘ Carlos Carrasco ’

Utley Gets In The Game


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Chase Utley
played 4 innings in a minor league Spring training game today and, according to Todd Zolecki, Phillies beat writer, all went well.  Utley went 2 for 4 at the plate with a double.  He reported no pain and says as long as he feels good tomorrow, things are looking up; Utley anticipates being ready for Opening Day.  Phillies fans everywhere are anxious to see the All-Star 2nd baseman back in action!

The rest of the Phillies played in regular grapefruit league action today, beating the Astros by a score of 5-2.  Greg Dobbs drove in 2 runs on 2 hits; Jayson Werth collected 2 RBI on a home run; and Pablo Ozuna led the offense with 3 hits in the game and 1 RBI.

While it was nice to see a steady offensive output, all eyes today were really on Carlos Carrasco, who is trying to make the team as the 5th starter.  Carrasco did his part to impress the team with 3 innings pitched with 1 earned run on 4 hits and a walk.  A pretty decent outing for the young pitcher, who’s ERA stands at 6.30 for the spring so far.  Veteran Chan Ho Park will get his turn tomorrow when the Phillies face ex-Phil, Kyle Loshe and the cardinals tomorrow at 1:05pm.

World Series Trophy Meets Ben Franklin

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Earlier today, the World Series Trophy made another stop in the Philly area; it arrived at the feet of Ben Franklin in the Franklin Institute where a crowd of Phillies fans awaited their chance to get an up-close look.  The Phanatic wow’ed the kids and flirted with the girls and Phillies PA announcer, Dan Baker kept the peace; or at least tried to.  Happy to report, most people were well behaved and Baker did not have to spank anyone…I assume he was relieved, but I could be wrong  :O)

I dragged my good friend Kimmie along for the trip and she was a real trooper.  Kimmie, I am pretty sure, does not even know what a baseball looks like.  But as soon as I told her the trophy was made by Tiffany’s, she was eager to line-up and have her photo taken with it :O)  And so, she is now a part of history, whether she likes it or not.  This is the same friend who drew a bit of attention to me in front of Chase Utley as I was waiting for his autograph one day; her job was to take a picture.  But as we got close to him, Kimmie looked around and then asked me, out loud, which one was Chase Utley.  Everyone around looked at us as if we had two heads.   But she is awesome and a true friend; even if she can’t tell a baseball from a shovel.  ;o)

 

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For The Girls…

I hear ya ladies…after I posted a photo of a Hooters girl yesterday at a Spring training game, I received many request from the ladies for some female entertainment.  So, here it is, Phillies-style:

First of all, no Phillie will ever top this photo of former-Phil, Pat Burrell:
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Although, Cole Hamels gave it the college try:

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And Shane Victorino jumped in on the action during the Phillies Cruise in January:

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But the rest of the team seems to be a bit modest.  So, I decided to help them along…meet the Phillie-Dales!  Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins (with a new hair-do), Chad Durbin and Greg Dobbs:

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And the scary part is, they probably all look even hotter than that in real life :O)  *Sigh!*

Ok, back to reality!  The Elder, Jamie Moyer started the game today against the Rays; Moyer went 5 innings, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and a walk.  Moyer has looked great all spring.  JA Happ took over in the 6th inning and after the first 2 batters were out, he suddenly gave up a solo home run and a single.  But Happ recovered quickly and got out of the inning with a ground ball.  Happ pitched 3 innings of 1 run ball.  To me, this has been the difference between Happ and Kyle Kendrick or Carlos Carrasco; Happ can make a mistake and move on.  The other two seem emotionally unable to cope.  Chan Ho Park is an experienced veteran who also does not seem shaken easily, so keep an eye on Park as well over these next few weeks.

In the poll I posted yesterday on who will be the Phillies 5th starter, Happ ran away with the contest, getting 100% of the votes.  After Kyle Kendrick’s horrible outing yesterday, this picture is becoming clearer.

The most exciting things that happened offensively for the Phillies in the first 6 innings were Jason Donald getting a walk and Miguel Cairo getting the only hit in those six innings.  After that, Ryan Howard came through with a sac fly with the bases loaded to score the Phillies first run.  The only other offense in the game was a 9th inning home run from Andy Tracy, and the Phils went on to lose 3-2.

WBC Highlights

Team USA lost to Team Venezuela yesterday, but the game really did not mean much; both teams will advance to Round 2 of the Classic.  The other teams who made the cut are Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Japan, Korea and the Netherlands.  Round 2 will begin on Saturday; Rollins and Victorino with Team USA take on JC Romero and Team Puerto Rico at 8pm in Miami.

 

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Kendrick Gets Pounded in Atlanta

As the battle for the 5th starting pitching spot continues, Kyle Kendrick appears to be cracking under the pressure.  In 3 innings against the Braves today, Kendrick surrendered 8 runs on 10 hits and a walk, including 2 home runs.  His ERA for the Spring has ballooned to 14.29.  Yikes!  Pitching coach, Rich Dubee is probably about ready to throttle the poor kid.  Not because he is stinking up the place, but because Dubee knows Kendrick is capable of getting the job done; but to this point, Kendrick has just not found a groove.  He is leaving the door wide open for the other 3 guys to take what was his spot to lose, and run with it.  What do you think the outcome will be?  Vote at the end of this blog.

Besides Kendrick, know who else is likely to take a beating?  The Hooters girls.  I have been yapping about this since Spring Training last year; in Clearwater, they stick Hooters girls out on the field to pretend to be ball girls.  They also give these un-athletic, baseball-ignorant chicks lawn chairs and allow them to sit throughout the game and read a book (I am SO not kidding) while line drive go whizzing past their bleach-blonde heads.  While I understand the entertainment value for the men who are apparently bored with the game and prefer to stare at plastic Barbie dolls, it is a dangerous game they are playing in Florida.  At one game, I watched as a line-drive flew so close to a Hooter’s girl’s head, that her hair flew up in the air as the ball went by and she never even looked up until after it was past her and she felt the breeze.

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There was another close call during the game today as well, as announcers Tom McCarthy and Gary “Sarge” Matthews pointed out.  Matthews said he hopes it never happens, but that the day it does, the Hooters girls will be done in Clearwater.  Seriously, one of these girls is going to be killed someday.  Some of them don’t even have gloves…and those that do, have NO idea what to do with them.  Again, I understand the need to entertain the crowd; heck, when I get bored, here is what I start taking photos of:

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But I am pretty sure that my photography is unlikely to get my head ripped off.  Plus, I know how to catch a ball.  And besides, who doesn’t want to see photos of Greg Dobbs’ behind? :O)

Ok, that is my rant for the day!  Back to real baseball…and more nice views from the field:  Jason Donald! 

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What a cutie!  And this kid is determined to show off his stuff!  Ok, not that stuff; his hitting skills, of course :O)  Donald went 3 for 4 today and used his speed to score 2 runs.  Another hopeful, John Mayberry Jr., got back into action today, going 2 for 3 with 2 RBI including a solo home run.

Joining the hit party were Ryan Howard with 1 hit and 2 RBI; Raul Ibanez with 2 hits and 2 RBI; and Greg Dobbs with 2 hits and an RBI.  And it looks like no one really felt like pitching today, because the final score was 12-10; Atlanta had 21 hits and the Phillies ended up with 15.

And I am still trying to get hold of more information on Ryan Howard’s new tattoo for everyone.  Waiting patiently…  I have not forgotten :O)

WBC Highlights

I was pretty sure I had cursed Team Italy yesterday after proclaiming that I was rooting for them; well, they fell to Team Venezuela, 10-1.  So, Venezuela will play Team USA tonight for the right to move on to Round 2 in the Classic, and I will only root for the team that I do NOT want to win :O)  Brushing up on my Spanish…  Adiós!

 

 

A Rookie Pounding / Rollins Gets His Due

Before I get to the game action, check out this video of Jimmy Rollins; it is a commercial for Dick’s Sporting Goods running on ESPN right now and it is hysterical!  I love the end when Jimmy, looking like Mr. Tough Guy, sighs, “Yeah.”  FUNNY!

More about Rollins later…

So the Phillies went down against the Braves in Grapefruit League action yesterday, 7-2.  The almost 22-year old top prospect Carlos Carrasco got roughed up for 6 hits, 3 earned runs and 5 runs total in 2 innings of work.  2 errors in the inning added to the pain, but Carrasco is still showing his young age and inexperience. 

Joe Blanton started the game and pitched 4 innings of 1-run ball.  Blanton looks to be on track for a good season and seems very confident and comfortable in his role.  Not looking so hot thus far has been Ryan Madson; the “Bridge to Lidge” is sporting a 4.50 ERA so far this spring; Madson gave up 1 run in one inning in the Braves game, but more concerning is the 4 hits allowed.  Hoping he is just off to a slow start…

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Jason Donald
, in his push towards the Majors, had a great day; Donald hit 2 for3 with 1 RBI, 1 run scored and a walk.  Donald may be able to fill in for Chase Utley or Pedro Feliz should either of them not be ready to go in April.  Brought up as a shortstop, the Phillies have been trying Donald out at 2nd and 3rd as well to see if he can field those positions.  So far, so good.

John Mayberry Jr., who has been doing very well in his quest to get to the Majors, had a rough day against the Braves pitching, striking out 3 times and going 0 for 4 in the game.  We will see how he stands up as the pitching he faces begins to get tougher.  One fun note one Mayberry; the Phillies have him listed as being 6’6″ tall.  One day last week, I stood right next to him and he looked more like 7 feet tall; curious though as to what he might say, I asked how tall he was; Mayberry laughed and then told me he was 6’5″.  I informed him that the Phillies had given him an extra inch, to which he smiled, shrugged his shoulders and said he wasn’t sure what they had listed.  Anyway, nice guy….I wish him luck! :O)

WBC Highlights

The good news about Carlos Ruiz is that he appears to be fine after a reported neck injury; he played in yesterday’s game against the Dominican Republic, going 1 for 3.  The bad news is that Panama was knocked out the classic, losing the game 9-0.  Ruiz should be returning to the Phillies shortly.

Team USA clinched a spot in the next, beating ex-Phillie Bobby Abreu and the Venezuelan team, 15-6.  Jimmy Rollins was sharp at the plate, going 2 for 3, but got picked off at 2nd after a lead-off double to start the game.  Dustin Pedroia was supposed to lay down a bunt, which drew Rollins further off the plate, but Pedroia missed the bunt and Rollins got nailed.  Pedroia also managed to hit into a double play the next time Rollins got on base.  Guessing there may be no love lost between the two men today.

But Rollins, it seems, has finally gotten his due.  Spending years being overlooked and underrated by media, last night, the ESPN announcers spent nearly half the game talking up Rollins; from how great a fielder he was, to his stolen base record and even noting that Rollins is “officially” the best dancer in the league.  Yes, bust out the disco ball and bellbottoms; Rollins has been crowned the Disco King by ESPN.  Bigger breaking news, there has never been. JRollins cr.jpg

Ok, so besides the 10 minutes they spent talking about dance moves, one announcer even went so far as to say he thought it was a mistake to remove Rollins from the game in favor of Derek Jeter, with how hot Rollins’ bat was. Whoa!  Hold the presses!  A media person chose Rollins over Jeter!  I think hell is about to freeze over.  Well, really this is rational; when you have 2 equally matched players, you go with the hot bat.  But just the mere fact that someone from the media put Rollins and Jeter on the same pedestal was amazing.  And really, it is about time.  How do you spell “respect?”  Apparently, it goes something like, “World Champions!”

 

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Happ-Y Days Ahead?

In yesterday’s game against the Tigers, JA Happ tried to back up my claim that he would be the winner of the 5th spot in the rotation.  Happ pitched 3 scoreless innings, striking out 7 batters with a mean fastball.  He allowed only 2 hits.  Things are looking Happ-Y for JA who is battling Kyle Kendrick, Chan Ho Park and Carlos Carrasco for the starters spot this year.  But, it is still early…

Also feeling the love is John Mayberry Jr., who has been keeping pace with Ryan Howard this spring.  Both Mayberry and Howard hit 3-run homers in the game, propelling the Phillies to an 8-2 win over the Tigers.  Mayberry continues to impress and, as a right-hander with power, he may be the leading candidate for a bench spot to even out the heavy left-handed line-up.

Jayson Werth saw his first official action of spring and went 1 for 2 with a walk.  Think Werth read my call for action yesterday?  Here’s hoping!  Geoff Jenkins, also aware of his own precarious situation, collected an RBI in the game on a sacrifice. 

Phillies in the WBC

Team USA won their World Baseball Classic opener yesterday against Team Canada, 6-5.  Shane Victorino P3035753.JPGgot the start in center and went 2 for 4 at the plate.  Jimmy Rollins came in as relief for Derek Jeter at short and hit 1 for 2 in the game.  The big blasts for Team USA came from Kevin Youkilis, Adam Dunn and Brian McCann, who each hit home runs in the game.  For Team Canada, Matt Stairs started in right field and went hitless in 3 at bats with 2 strikeouts.

Team Panama lost to Team Puerto Rico, 7-0 yesterday; Carlos Ruiz started at catcher, going 1 for 2 with a walk, but was pulled from the game early due to a neck strain after a collision.  Reports so far are that it is not serious, but no word yet on whether Ruiz will play in today’s game against the Dominican Republic. 

 

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The Battle Continues…

Chan Ho Park had a shot at impressing the Phillies yesterday against the Blue Jays; the prize he was aiming for is the 5th starters spot in the Phillies rotation.  Park did well and surrendered only 1 run on 3 hits in 4 innings of work.  He seems very determined to win the job.  JA Happ will pitch today at some point in the game against the Tigers, and later in the week, we should see some more action from Kyle Kendrick and Carlos Carrasco.  It is still early and the job is up for grabs, but I will state again for the record, I think Happ will win it in the end.  Kendrick has not looked good so far and is too emotional; Carrasco too young; and Park, too useful in the bullpen, rather than starting.  However, I have been wrong before :O)

Speaking of battles, it is interesting that while Jayson Werth is getting off to a slow start, Geoff Jenkins seems to be picking up the pace.  Before spring training began, it was basically a no-brainer that Werth would be the official starter in right; however, if he doesn’t catch up soon, there may be some controversy again.  Sure, they can platoon, but I think it is about time Werth just stood up and claimed the spot.  But yesterday, Jenkins had a 2-run double and a sac fly for an RBI, giving him 3 RBI on the day.  Werth, who had his first live game action this spring in the “B” game against the Jays, went 1 for 4, with a single.  Werth has complained of a sore right shoulder, but now says he is nearly back to normal.

Brett Myers had a rough outing in the “B” game; he gave up 5 runs in only 3 innings with 6 hits, 2 walks and 2 homers allowed.  Then again, Myers says he is using this time in spring training to work on his much under-developed change-up.  So, this will continue to be a work in progress.

Well, I am home now and have put together an album of some of my Spring Training shots.  Some, you may have seen, others I did not post.  So HERE IT IS!  Enjoy!

 

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Phillies Power Past The Jays

The Phillies powered past the Blue Jays in Dunedin today by a score of 12-7.  Ryan Howard provided some pop with a 2 run homer in the 6th inning and rookie Jeremy Slayden added a home run of his own while going 2 for 5 with 2 RBI.  Raul Ibanez and Eric Bruntlett also collected 2 RBI a piece.  Photos:  Charlie Manuel slaps hands with the fans; Bruntlett makes a running grab;  Ibanez gets a hit:

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The Pitching Duel

Carlos Carrasco and JA Happ continued the battle for the 5th starter position today; advantage: Happ.  Happ went 3 innings with 3 hits and 2 runs surrendered.  Carrasco, on the other hand, struggled in the 5th inning, ultimately giving up 5 runs on 3 hits, 2 of which were homers.  Only 3 of the runs were earned due to an error on a dropped fly ball by Bruntlett.  Overall, Happ had better control and poise on the mound, where Carrasco’s inexperience showed a bit.  Still, Happ needs to work on keeping the ball down.  Also pitching today, former Cincinnati Red, Gary Majewski who made it through 2 scoreless innings.

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More Highlights

Ibanez and Howard celebrate after Howard’s 2-run shot; Miguel Cairo makes an amazing play on a short grounder; Ibanez demonstrates his lack of grace while sliding into home:

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Wildlife Meets Baseball:

Left:  This sunbather clearly did not get the memo about the 55 degree temperatures in Western Florida today.  Bottom Left:  This behind belongs to a man who proposed to his girlfriend during the game.  He did not own a pair of non-holey jeans for this special occasion?  Right:  Baseball lights put to good use: Birds make a home in Dunedin Stadium.030209c.jpg

And that brings us to the Photo of the Day:  I did mention the Phillies won by a score of 12-7, right?  The Blue Jays staff, apparently, thought wishing makes it so; check out the run total column.  Is that 2 runs for the Phils, or possibly 12?  Hmmmmm…

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The Phillies are OFF tomorrow!  Next game, Wednesday, 1:05pm against Team Canada at Bright House field.  Cole Hamels is scheduled to start.  See you there!

 

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As The Weather Turns

The Phillies took on the Atlanta Braves today in Orlando and won, 7-3.  As for me, I was taking the day off from baseball and the crappy weather today…not to mention skipping the 2 hour drive to Orlando.  Instead of sitting in the rain, I decided to go scuba diving with sharks and other critters at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa.  In the video, you will see a lady behind me with a big stick shooing the sharks away as they got too close.  The other guy is the dive master – his job was to rescue me should something try to make dinner out of me :O)  Happy to say, I still have all my fingers and toes.  There were reef sharks, white tips, sand sharks, nurse sharks and others…check it out:

So while I was off tempting fate, the Phillies were braving the nasty weather.  It was cold, windy and rainy today, yet the Fightin’s prevailed.  Marcus Giles stole the show with 2 hits, 2 steals and 1 RBI; Eric Bruntlett collected 2 hits as well and swiped one bag. 

The real fun though was the battle for the 5th starter position which continued today when Chan Ho Park took the mound for 3 innings.  Park gave up 4 hits and a solo homer, leaving with a 3.0 ERA and he got the win.  Tomorrow both JA Happ and Carlos Carrasco will get their next turn at making a good impression. 

A few injuries on the home front:  Jayson Werth has not played yet in Spring Training due to what he says was a slow start after a less than productive off-season.  Is that a nice way of saying he sat on his butt and ate Ben & Jerry’s for 3 months?  Hmmm…  Werth is scheduled to start tomorrow; we will see how it goes.  I’ll be on the lookout for love handles :O)  Brad Lidge and Chad Durbin are also in a holding pattern; Lidge has a sore shoulder and Durbin has a sore right hamstring.  I am guessing this is baseball related, not ice cream related.  Then again, fill up that spoon and lift…it can be quite tasking.

See you in Dunedin tomorrow; game time 1:05pm vs. the Toronto Blue Jays.

 

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Phillies Win World Series Reunion

Well, don’t get too excited…it is only Spring Training.  But the Phillies did finally get over the Grapefruit League hump and won their first game today against World Series opponent, the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 12-5.  Ryan Howard also got over his homer hump and slammed his first of 2009 in the 1st inning.  John Mayberry followed with one of his own and 2 batters later, 12-year MLB veteran Miguel Cairo joined the home run parade.  After a 5 run first inning, the Phils looked pretty relaxed.

The rookies tried to make good impressions; Mayberry and Jason Donald both played the entire game with Mayberry going 2 for 5 with 2 RBI, including the home run.  Donald went 1 for 4 with 1 RBI and made a spectacular over-the-wall grab on a foul ball.  He fell clear into the stands, disappearing from view, and still caught the ball.  Here is a photo of Donald being helped up by the fans; also shown:  Cairo sliding into home; Jimmy Rollins tags out a runner attempting to steal; rookie Ozzie Chavez gets a hit:

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Kyle Kendrick pitched the first 2 2/3 innings, allowing 4 hits, including 1 home run.  He pitched fairly well, but did pale in comparison to what we have seen from JA Happ and Carlos Carrasco thus far.  And so that battle continues…  Former Mariner Jake Woods continues to struggle, giving up 2 runs in his one inning of work; rookie Drew Naylor had a one run 2 1/3 innings; Mike Koplove looked great again, pitching a scoreless inning; and our only lefty in the pen so far, Scott Eyre, gave up one run in what looked like a bit of a shaky inning for him.  Eyre, having personal and financial issues right now, really needs to keep his head on straight.  It was reported earlier this week that, due to a bank fraud issue, his assets have been frozen and he is unable to pay bills.  It appears to have affected many people invested in this particular bank and may take a while before the issue is resolved, so let’s hope he can handle the stress.  The advance the Phillies gave him on his salary should help.  Read the article HERE.

The other story of the day was the return of Pat Burrell.  Burrell got a very warm reception from the Phillies fans, who cheered him when he came up to bat, and even before the game during batting practice.  It seems like we are not the only ones who are missing Pat; Greg Dobbs and Ryan Howard had a nice reunion with him before the game:

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Burrell later told beat writer Todd Zolecki, “The response I got was very special,” Burrell said. “It’s something I won’t forget.”  And some thing we all won’t forget?  The Burrell Butt; oh, how we’ll miss it!

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Phillies take on the Braves tomorrow at 1:05pm.

 

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World Series Hangover

The Phillies lost their Spring Training home opener today to the Blue Jays, 6-2.  This makes 2 straight losses to open the pre-season; World Series hangover perhaps?  The big boys like Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez went 0-3, each leaving 2 men on base, and the only two runs scored were knocked in by Jimmy Rollins and Greg Dobbs who each went 1-3.  Carlos Carrasco and JA Happ began the pitching duel today, battling it out for the 5th starter position.  Both pitched two scoreless innings with only Happ giving up a hit; although Carrasco was helped out by John Mayberry in right field who used his 6’5″ frame to scale the wall and snag what was surely a home run shot.  Here is Mayberry making the catch along with another shot of him getting hit by a pitch; below that, you will see Jeremy Slayden playing a ball off the centerfield wall.

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In other great pitching news, Gary Majewski, previously of the Reds, pitched two scoreless innings as well.  But much like yesterday’s game, two other pitchers gave the game away for the Phillies; Justin Lehr gave up 2 back to back home runs in his one inning of work and Blaine Neal gave up 4 runs in only 2/3 of an inning.

More encouraging was the play of rookie Mayberry and Jason Ellison, a 6-year veteran previously with the Rangers.  Ellison got a hit in the 3rd inning and proceeded to steal second base:

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Also on the ball today was 3rd baseman Mike Cervenak, who helped save a hit by making a great play on a ball that took a nasty short hop.  Cervenak also drew a walk in his only at-bat.  Here he is making the catch and also trying to break up a double play that Jeremy Slayden hit into:

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Although the Phillies have dropped the first two games, keep in mind that at this point in Spring Training, less emphasis is placed on winning games and more on examining rookies and deciding who will make the final roster.  So, not to worry Phillies fans! 

In other news for the worriers, you will be happy to know that prior to the game, Chase Utley took batting practice on the field.  He took some light swings and looked like he was not too far from seeing game action.  Also before the game, Army air paratroopers parachuted into the stadium, one of them carrying the World Series flag which was then hung in the stadium.  And that is our Picture of the Day:
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