There were a few good developments in last night's 6-2 loss to the Yankees.
To start, Cliff Lee was solid in his 2 2/3 innings, allowing just a pair of earned runs and throwing 71 pitches. Another good sign came when Darin Ruf belted his first home run of the spring on an 0-2 pitch in his third at-bat of the game.
“It was good to see him hit one,” manager Charlie Manuel told reporters in Tampa. “He hit it real good.”
However, the Phillies' continued to have trouble with their defense, committing five errors. The errors led to four unearned runs. So far this spring the Phillies' fielders have been charged with 25 errors in 18 Grapefruit League games.
Only Toronto with 26 errors in 18 games has committed more errors than the Phillies and their .963 team fielding percentage is the worst in the majors through the spring games.
Defensive anchor Jimmy Rollins has been playing with the U.S. team in the World Baseball Classic, which has hurt the Phillies' in the field. Rollins' replacements, Freddy Galvis and Yuniesky Betancourt, have combined to commit five errors. Meanwhile, Carlos Ruiz's replacement, Erik Kratz, has been charged with a pair of errors, while catchers Humberto Quintero and Steven Lerud have been hit with a pair.
So the spring stats can be a bit misleading, though it doesn't make them any less concerning.
In the meantime, the Phillies take on the Pirates at 1:05 p.m. at Bright House Field today. Here's the lineup:1. Freddy Galvis SS
2. Michael Young 3B
3. Chase Utley 2B
4. Ryan Howard 1B
5. Domonic Brown RF
6. Darin Ruf DH
7. Laynce Nix LF
8. Erik Kratz C
9. Ender Inciarte CF
Aaron Cook is scheduled to pitch against the Pirates in the game. Additionally, Kyle Kendrick is slated to pitch in a minor league game today, too.