The Americans’ 4-3 loss to Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic means Jimmy Rollins should return to Clearwater soon. Meanwhile, the Phils will take on the Yankees Saturday in Tampa for the second time in four days.
Shane Victorino had just been called out on strikes, J.C. Romero was on the mound and Jimmy Rollins was at the plate representing Team USA’s last chance to get a rally going in the ninth inning down by a run to Puerto Rico.
The Phillies’ shortstop liked the first pitch he saw and swung but merely lofted a soft fly ball to centerfield, which Angel Pagan secured for the game’s final out.
As Romero and his teammates celebrated, the Americans failed to advance to the final round of play for the second time in the last three WBCs. Former Phillie Nelson Figueroa earned the win for tossing six scoreless innings.
Rollins finished the tournament going 9 for 28 (.321) with just one extra-base hit, a double. He played in all six of Team USA’s games but should see more regular action when he returns to Phillies’ camp in Clearwater. Rollins last played in a Grapefruit League game on March 1.
Saturday, the Phillies take on the Yankees at an early noon start time in Tampa. Here is Charlie’s starting nine for the afternoon:
Ben Revere, CF
2.) Michael Young, 3B
3.) Chase Utley, 2B
4.) Ryan Howard, 1B
5.) Domonic Brown, LF
6.) Laynce Nix, RF
7.) Jermaine Mitchell, DH
8.) Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
9.) Steven Lerud, C
Raul Valdes will be the first man to take the mound for the Phillies. Cole Hamels will not make the trip to Tampa — he’ll pitch in a minor league game in Clearwater instead.