I was thinking the other day how John Lannan’s name is a combination of “bland,” “vanilla” and “flannel.” It sounds like some noise a goat would make with a mouthful of tin can.
And that goat went on to pitch four innings for the Phillies on Saturday, only giving up four earned runs in a game where the Phillies would eventually lose by about 50. Lannan continued to be the most #5 starter ever, his ERA actually flatlining at 5.00 exactly on the afternoon. Sean Rodriguez teed off on him pretty good in the third inning.
After that, the Phillies opened the gates of the bullpen and sent in Jonathan Papelbon, who surprisingly had nothing to do with the several years worth of runs that the Rays would score. Paps quietly retired the side in his most successful spring appearance yet, only to have a demented parade of Durbins and Simons and a spectacularly ineffective Rosenberg do away with all hope of a comeback.
The Phillies, down 5-1 in the sixth, clawed back after a series of base hits from Humberto Quintero, Ben Revere, and Freddy Galvis (whose hitting prowess has clearly been sharpened). Human opposites Revere and Quintero each had three hits on the day. With the score now 5-4, no other Phillies pitcher would hurl more than an inning, and most of the seven relievers they sent in couldn’t even go that far (Antonio Bastardo, J.C. Ramirez, B.J. Rosenberg, and Kyle Simon would throw a combined two innings and surrender a combined eight hits and six earned runs). Rosenberg has appeared in three innings of preseason baseball and given up eight hits. Eight.
On the other side, Ryan Howard’s torrid spring campaign continued with his fourth home run and 12th RBI. Ben Revere continued to impress, and Dom Brown was 2-for-4 and scored twice. As a team, the Phillies went 5-for-13 with men in scoring position, which I don’t need to point at the score to show you that it’s not good.
That bullpen is still figuring itself out, but that’s why Rich Dubee is pitting all of those young arms against each other in a battle of wills. Soon, the inescapably poor hurlers will be trimmed off and make way for people who know exactly what they’re doing, like Jonathan Papelbon.