Charlie Manuel wanted to see some improvement from his young relievers, and they came through on Saturday, holding the Yankees to seven hits and no runs in a 7-0 win in Tampa.
With Cole Hamels staying back in Clearwater to start in a minor-league game Saturday morning, the Phillies’ relief pitchers were thrown into the spotlight in an all-bullpen contest against the Yanks. Raul Valdes, Mike Adams, Chad Durbin, Michael Stutes and Jake Diekman all pitched in the shutout victory.
Following a 3-1 loss to the Rays on Friday, Manuel opined on the ’pen, per CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury: “With the talent that’s here we have a chance to have a big bullpen,” before adding, “But at the same time, the talent has to produce. Mike Adams is throwing good. The rest of them have to pick it up, put more on the ball and throw strikes.”
Saturday they picked it up. Valdes got through a rough first inning in which he allowed a leadoff double to Derek Jeter and made it through three frames, allowing three hits and picking up a strike out.
After Adams turned in a 1-2-3 fourth, Durbin took over for the next three innings and gave up two hits and a walk while striking out one. He also appeared against the Yankees on Wednesday and threw a perfect inning.
Stutes gave up a hit and punched out two men in the eighth, and Diekman closed in out in the ninth. Diekman was the only man to struggle throwing strikes — he walked two and loaded the bases before inducing a pop fly to end the game.
Brown goes yard
Domonic Brown turned on an inside off-speed pitch by Hiroki Kuroda and deposited the ball deep into the right field bleachers to give the Phillies their first three runs of the game in the fourth inning.
It was the first homer for Brown, who started the game in left field, since March 3 and his fourth of the spring overall. He’s now hitting .365 (19 for 52) in Florida.
Catcher Stephen Lerud also went deep in the ninth inning to stretch the Phils’ lead to 6-0.
Jermaine Mitchell hasn’t played much this spring, but when he has he’s produced. Saturday, the left-handed bat got the start as the designated hitter and went 2 for 4 with a double and a triple.
The 28-year-old outfielder who’s never appeared in a major league game has gone 7 for 15 this spring with two doubles and three triples. He’s also stolen three bases. Last year, Mitchell spent his first full season at Triple A, with Oakland A's affiliate Sacramento.