Yesterday was another one of those days when the Phillies organization struggled with relief pitchers out of the bullpen. An amazing three blown save opportunities caused defeats for Lehigh Valley and Clearwater. Another blown save cost Jesse Biddle a win though Reading did come back and win its game. In the Lakewood loss, its reliever gave up two runs in the bottom of the ninth in a tie game. It was like clutching defeat from the jaws of victory for the Phillies farm teams on the Fourth of July.
Let’s hope help in on the way. Yesterday, Baseball Betsey and I walked a few blocks from our home to watch the Threshers and Dunedin Blue Jays battle in Fourth of July baseball at Dunedin Stdium. One of the finest examples of base running by Carlos Alonso to score what we a thought to be the winning run went to waste as the Blue Jays came back from a 4-3 deficit in the bottom of the ninth to win on a two-run rbi double off of Clearwater’s Colton Murray.
In the top of the eight Alonso scored a brilliantly manufactured run to break a 3-3 tie. He slide head first into first to beat out a slow grounder to second for a base hit. He then move on to second on a balk and to third on a wild pitch. He scored on a slow grounder to first by Kelly Dugan by beating the throw home on an outstanding athletic move to avoid the tag at the plate. This was Carlos’s 52nd run scored of the season which is second among all Phillies organization players and is second in the Florida State League. .
Though he did give up a long home run on one of his first fastballs which resulted in a blown save for Clearwater’s Ken Giles last night, he has the highest velocity on his fastball of any pitcher in the Phillies organization. He has been battling lower back problems and made his first appearance in the sixth inning since coming off the disabled list.
Based on the radar gun readings on the scoreboard Giles still has his outstanding velocity. His fastball was sitting at 97 -99 and his slider was at 86-89. His two strike outs were on an 89 mph slider and a 98 mph fastball. Giles gets a mulligan last night after just coming off the DL but he is the kind of hard firing relief pitcher with the ability to throw strikes the Phillies need at every level of the organization. If he is able to get batters out on a consistent basis in close and late games, I have no doubt he will move quickly up in the Phillies system