The Phillie Phanatic, the preeminent mascot in major league baseball (go screw Mr. Met) made his debut at Bright House Field this afternoon. Opposing fans shook with terror at the notion of being covered in popcorn and shrieked with delight at his frolicsome antics, while opposing pitchers cowered at the possibility of having the hex put on their ability to throw the baseball. Hilarity may have ensued, but levity could not bring the Phillies a win today.
The pitcher on the staff not named Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, or Cole Hamels startedy for the Phillies. The Yankees countered with their #3 starter, Ivan Nova. When the season is this young, the hitters are significantly behind the pitchers and that fact was made readily apparent by Nova and Blanton. Neither starter allowed hit and the only base runner was a lead off walk to Brett Gardner.
Then came the cavalcade of young Phillie pitchers. Justin DeFratus has a great arm, but struggled with his command initially and surrendered the first runs of the game with a wind aided home run to Curtis Granderson. Despite being six feet eight inches tall, Michael Schwimmer was tagged for four runs in his one inning of work.
The Yankees countered with their own extremely tall reliever in the person of Dellin Betances making him the second pitcher in the game to measure six foot eight. Career minor leaguer Jorge Vasquez homered in consecutive games with the help of the wind putting the finishing touches on the Yankees 7-3 win.
There were a few positives to take from today’s contest; Ben Francisco provided the Phillies with all their offense knocking in a run with a double and crushing a two run home run, Ryan Howard laced a single off of left handed specialist Boone Logan, and once he settled down, Justin DeFratus showed why he is so highly regarded within the Phillies organization.
Negative elements included an 0-3 three strike out performance from Phenom Domonick Brown, Brad Lidge giving up a home run and the continued absence of Chase Utley from the Philadelphia line-up (I think that we have all seen enough of Pete Orr and Wilson Valdez).
Luckily, on days such as these, we can stare lovingly into the googley eyes of the Phanatic and pray that he runs his four wheeler into Alex Rodriguez.