Phillies Shut Down Bungling Tigers

This was the first game of a doubleheader for myworld.  We were in Lakeland to watch the Phillies down the Tigers 4-1.  The Phillies made two errors in the opening frame after only one pitch was thrown.  Johnny Peralta let a ball slip right between his legs like a wicket, as he failed to bend down far enough to scoop it up, and Justin Verlander threw a wild pickoff throw to advance Ben Revere to second.  Ben eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Michael Young to score the Phillies first run.

The Phillies also took advantage of the wildness of Bruce Rondon, who wasn’t close to the strike zone today in his second straight appearance.  He walked a couple, gave up a couple hits, allowed two runners to steal against him and balked in a run to give the Phillies two runs.

The Phillies played only four starters from yesterday’s 10-1 win over the Rays.  Ben Revere had a couple hits and two stolen bases and appears to have won the leadoff role.  He also scored two runs.  Kevin Fransden also started but probably regrets it.  Justin Verlander nailed him in the wrist in the third inning, painting a Rawlings tatoo there.  Fransden ran the bases but was taken out when the Phillies went out for defense.  Pete Orr and Freddy Galvis were the two other back to back starters, but each played a different position.  Freddy appears to have made the team as a utility player.

The Phillies started Cole Hamels and he silenced the Tiger bats for his three innings of work, facing only one batter over the minimum.  The lefthander did not hit 90 with any of his pitches but still whiffed three Tigers and got Prince Fielder to ground into a double play mixing the velocity of his pitches and the location.

Justin Verlander went five plus innings and only gave up one earned run, giving up two hits and a walk in the fourth.  He can rear back and throw the fastball at 95, but likes to sit at 90-91 and when he really needs to blow the smoke he airs it out.  In the third with runners on second and third with two outs he blew a 96 mile per hour fastball by Laynce Nix for the third out.  He also struck out Freddy Galvis swinging for the third out in the second on a 95 mile per hour fastball.  In the five complete innings he worked he struck out the last hitter in four of those innings.

The Tigers scored their only run in the sixth when Alex Avila led the inning off with a single, advanced to second on a passed ball and eventually scored on a fly ball from Austin Jackson.  The Tigers were pretty much shutout by Hamels and the Phillies five relief pitchers, mustering only three hits, two of those in the sixth inning.  They were retired in order in seven of the nine innings.

Game Notes: Chris Nichols got a one pitch save.  Brandon Erbe had come in and retired the five hitters he faced, but must have reached his pitch count.  Brandon was hitting 95-97 with his fastball.  Chris came on and retired Corey Jones on his first pitch for the last out of the game…Darin Downs looked good in relief for the Tigers, striking out three of the four hitters he faced.  All the Tiger pitchers were hitting 90 plus with their pitches, but Bruce Rondon appeared to dial it down by only hitting 96-97.  It didn’t help him find the plate…Ender Inciarte is making it hard for the Phillies not to keep him.  He is not intimidated when he comes to the plate, getting two more hits today in four at bats.  Justin tried to get Ender out by throwing three 94 mile per hour fastballs by him, but Ender stroked the third fastball into rightfield for a hit.  Ender is a Rule V pick.

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