Phillies Spring Training: Game 4 Recap and Notes

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The Phillies returned to Spectrum Field, as they hosted the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 4 of their Spring Training. Dependable SP Jerad Eickhoff would get first crack at the Rays and would be supported by the following lineup.

Eickhoff struggled with command early in this. He walked the first batter he faced and then allowed a single to the second batter, putting runners on the corners with no outs. He was throwing a bit too wide and high early, but I think it’s safe to chalk that up to spring training jitters after being off for so long. The right-hander did a good job of not letting the inning get away from him, and limited the Rays to one run in the inning.

The Phillies came to play however. Herrera flashed some opposite field power early, slapping the ball over the left fielder’s head for a double. After Howie Kendrick hit into a fielder’s choice, Saunders and Franco hit back to back singles and brought Kendrick in to score. Kendrick’s ground ball hurt the Phils a bit as they could have scored more in the first, but tying the game up in the bottom half showed the team had their pitcher’s back.

Speaking of the pitcher, Eickhoff continued to struggle with location versus the first batter of the second inning. He got behind in a 3-0 count before seemingly finding his groove. Eickhoff ran the count full before sitting the batter down on strikes. The young pitcher’s resilience was encouraging to see this early in camp. The strikeout was the first of two in what would be a 1-2-3 inning for him.

The hard-throwing pitcher Luis Garcia relieved Eickhoff in the third inning, and his fastball was as lively as ever. Garcia’s first two pitches both hit 96 MPH as they were bolted out of his hand. Unfortunately, Garcia also struggled with locating his pitches. The Rays scored two runs and took an early 3-1 lead.

A feel good moment happened in the fourth inning when Drew Anderson relieved Garcia. This was Anderson’s first action since Tommy John Surgery put him on the shelf. The 22-year old righty has a fastball that regularly sits in the mid-90s, so the Phillies are definitely interested in seeing what they have in him. Anderson was incredibly impressive in front of the home crowd. Although his velocity was a bit down, he dominated hitters with a fastball/curveball combo. After retiring the first two batters he faced via flyout, he struck out the final batter of the inning with a strike on the outside corner of the plate. Anderson is an interesting prospect for sure and I’m excited to see how he progresses as the spring goes on.

In the bottom half of the inning, Franco crushed a ball out to left field for his third home run of the game. Unfortunately, this was the last thing the home crowd had to cheer about for the rest of the game.

Tampa went on to trounce the Phils 7-2 in the contest, dropping the team to 2-2. The Phillies have a chance to get back over the .500 mark tomorrow as they take on the Baltimore Orioles. Be sure to stay tuned right here at Philly Sports Network as we recap every Phillies game this season!

 

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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