Yesterday was a good time to watch and follow the Phillies farm system. Some good things happened at all level of the system. This was a far cry from last season when all the four full season teams struggled and finished under .500, were hard to watch and rarely won in extra innings.
At AAA Severino Gonzalez went 6.2 innings on only 88 pitches and gave up only one earned run. Even in the 5-4 extra inning defeat the IronPigs played hard. At AA Roman Quinn was the standout player putting down a sacrifice bunt on a 3-0 count and beating it out for a base hit. Then in his last at bat he hit a long home run to put the finishing touches on a 9-0 win to earn a split in an opening day doubleheader after the Reading when down 4-2 in the first game. At high A Clearwater Dylan Cozens and Willians Astudillo finally shook off their 0 for the season and delivered back to back hits to win the game 2-1 in the bottom of the 11th inning. And paced by Rhys Hoskins three hits and a three-run homer by Herlis Rodriguez, Lakewood won 6-3.
Thanks to MiLB-TV Baseball Betsy and I were able to watch the Reading doubleheader from Portland Maine, After two games of postponements from a day of snow and then wet grounds Reading was able finally to start the season. Aaron Nola struggled in the first inning of the first game giving up a three-run homer in the first innings and an another run in the second but then settled down to pitch shutout ball into the fifth. Jesse Biddle pitched five innings of two hit shutout ball in the second game to pick up the win in the 9-0 victory.
Then we headed over to Bright House Field to watch Brandon Leibrandt make his Theshers debut. See Here. He held the Dunedin Blue Jays to only a first inning run to pitch six strong innings. After going 0 for 10 to start the Dylan Cozens finally broke out by punching a double down the line to left in the eight. He then singled up the middle to the shortstop to lead off the 11th and went to second on the over throw at first. With two outs Willians Astudillo came to the plate and hit a ground ball base hit to right to score Cozens with the walk off run. It was Willians first hit of the season after going hitless in his first nine at bats.
Winning is not everything in development baseball but it sure beats losing. Just watch this video of Astudillo’s winning hit and walk off celebration to see what I mean.