It’s been a very long spring training. They fit an entire baseball olympics inside it.
The novelty of meaningless baseball wore off in week four, and we have been thirsting for the sour twinge of something real ever since. Spring training is a cruel tease now, especially since most of the Phillies’ has revolved around watching Roy Halladay throw up.
But regardless, the Clearwater portion of the season has concluded, leaving us staring real baseball in the face, right after this quick meaningless two-game series at Citizens Bank Park.
Today, we got to see everyone in Florida for the last time. Roy Halladay was there. He did all right. Not great. Said the mound was too “mushy.”
It’s not terrific news, but remember that 1-2-3 first inning he threw? With a strikeout? Those were the days.
The Blue Jays acheived and maintained a two-run lead in the third inning, pecking away at some Halladay miscues (Though Doc did K his way out of some jams by getting creative with his pitches). Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Jose Reyes were the chief annoyances. But it didn’t hold up, as several innings later, J-Roll opened the Phillies scoring by reaching on an error that got Ben Revere across the plate.
Chase Utley followed with a godlike fifth homer of the spring – now that his hard-hit balls aren’t right at people, his offensive numbers started to take off. In the eighth, Humberto Quintero made a last-ditch plea for the backup catching gig with an RBI single, but Laynce Nix delivered the final blow with a three-run bomb.
7-2 victory aside, the Phillies ended spring training in Clearwater better than they ended the regular season last year – opver .500 (16-15). So it is with a morose sense of history kind of repeating itself that the Phillies’ return to Philadelphia to continue what is a three-game series with the Blue Jays that started in Clearwater. These games don’t count either, but the Phillies thought you deserved a closer look at Michael Martinez before they start the season in Atlanta.
Game time is 7:05, with Cliff Lee slated to take the mound.
May god have mercy on our souls.