Yesterday in Clearwater, Happ pitched four shutout innings, surrendering only one hit and striking out three. The second-year lefty has been sharp this spring, getting ahead of batters and working quickly against American League lineups. While Happ and Chan Ho Park battled for the fifth starter position last spring, this year finds the Phillies counting on Happ to vanquish new foes such as PECOTA, CHONE, and Keith Law. Thus far, Happ has been up to task. The Twins scored four runs on five hits against bullpen candidate Antonio Bastardo. who could have come out unscathed had the Phils been able to pull off a 3-6-1 double play. A slightly wide throw from Ryan Howard and a late cover from Bastardo extended the inning, and the longer it went, the harder Bastardo got hit. The core of the Phillies bullpen pitched in the game, as many pitchers needed work after Friday’s rainout. On the day that Charlie Manuel announced Ryan Madson would close until Brad Lidge was available, Madson was crisp, striking out two in his one inning of work. Danys Baez worked around a hit and a walk to get the save. Cody Ransom hit a three run homer off of Jose Mijares to give the Phillies the lead. Ransom has hit three home runs this spring (two in official games) and looks to be good minor league depth. The Phillies won the game 5-4 and improved to 5-3-1 in Grapefruit League play - Courtesy of Monsterdouble.com
Beerleaguer: Many thanks to Furnstein and Jonesman of Monsterdouble.com, and to longtime Beerleaguer Billy Mac, for their observations from Florida.
Today's lineup: Rollins SS, Polanco 3B, Utley DH, Howard 1B, Werth RF, Ibanez LF, Victorino CF, Castro 2B, Sardinha C.