After three losses we finally saw a victory on our week’s trip through the Phillies farm system. The Lehigh Valley IronPigs managed to pull out a come from behind 5-4 victory over the White Sox’s AAA farm team the Charlotte Knights. It was a safety squeeze bunt in the bottom of the eight inning that brought victory to the IronPigs.
But the real story has been the play of rehabbing third baseman Cody Asche that has been one of the highlights of out goal to watch seven games in a week of all the farm teams in the Phillies system. He gets my vote as our farm system road trip.
You see when we left Florida Cody was just beginning his rehab assignment and in his first at bat we saw him at Ashburn Field he struck out. It has been all down hill since then with Baseball Betsy and I coincidently in hot pursuit.
We next came across Cody Saturday night in Lakewood. This was his second game for the BlueClaws after hitting two home runs the night before at First Energy Stadium there. In the game we attended Cody went one for two with a hard hit double and made a strong play at third on a hard hit ground ball to take a base hit away from a Texas Rangers farmhand.
Last night at Coca-Cola Park our paths crossed again. This time Cody was playing third base for the IronPigs and made the difference in the game for the 5-4 win. Earlier in the the fifth innings Cody laced a two-run bases loaded single to knock in two runs. In the bottom of the eight inning with the game tied at 4-4 Cody led off with a double, advanced to third and score on the safety squeeze bunt by catcher Koyie Hill to provide the margin of victory. Hitting line dive after line drive, Cody has rehabbed well from his leg injury and looks ready to rejoin the Phillies.
Cody Asche has been one of the best success stories of the Phillies farm system during out time of following it. We have followed Cody since the 2012 season. He had just moved from second base to third after an unsuccessful short season the year before in Williamsport after being drafting in the fourth round in 2011. He was a hitting machine with the Clearwater Threshers and was sent to AA after the FSL All-Star game that season.
We ran into Cody again on our northern trip that summer and watch him hit a long drive to center for a triple at Reading. It seemed after that hit he took off and had a great second half with the R-Phillies.
No we are not stalking Cody but every time we run into him in the various venues of the Phillies farm system he has been taking off with the bat. Last night in Allentown was no exception. He was the difference in the game as the IronPigs came back from a 4-0 deficit to win its biggest come from behind victory of the year. Turing only 24 years old on June 30th, Cody is going to be a valuable member of the Phillies for many years to come.
The fifth game of our week’s baseball odyssey takes us to Reading tonight. We get to see some old friends from the last several seasons at Clearwater. Jesse Biddle is to start. He pitched several great strike out games in the heat and humidity of Sunday afternoon baseball in Clearwater back in 2012. Carlos Alonso is one of my all time favorites players as we watched him win the minor league Gold Glove at second last season. Kelly Dugan’s swing launching balls on to the berm in right at Bright House last season will never be forgotten.
Friday we will be back in Florida watching the noon opening game of the GCL season as the Phillies and Blue Jays kick off it off. Later we will be heading over to Bright House to watch Roman Quinn in centerfield for the Threshers. Our 3,000 mile, seven games in a eight day baseball trip will be over. We will have visited the home fields of all the farm teams of the Phillies and traveled by plane and car over 3,000 miles to do it.
We have seen some good baseball for the most part and will be commenting on more of what we experienced on our trip in future blogs such as a moment I will never forget being asked by one of the players to be his stand-in dad in Lakewood for an on field Father’s Day promotion and having a deja vu moment in Williamsport on the same day when Aaron Altherr was called-up to the Phillies.
Below Cody gets ready to square-up another base hit last night for the IronPigs as he is lock-in at the plate.