What a game. It came down to Blue Jays runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and power hitter Vladimir Guerrero Jr., representing the tying run at the plate in an 8-5 game. Junior had just missed a homer to left earlier in the game.
With lefty Jonathan Hennigan on the mound, he induced Junior to hit a high fastball down the right field line. First baseman Luis Encarnacion made a good running catch to end the game and preserve the win.
The Phillies led all the way. Mitch Walding, who is playing games in left field, got the game started with a home run to left. Also, Mitch seemed to be always on base by getting hit by a pitch and a couple of walks. Next week, he will be playing in the Arizona Fall League, apparently some games as a left fielder.
I have been watching Encarnacion for it seems like forever, but he just turned only 19 in August. Luis had the game of his life yesterday after hitting only .162 with two homers in Williamsport this season. He hit two doubles and a triple in yesterday’s game. Watch his two-run, RBI triple HERE.
Two other players who are squaring up and barreling the ball in Instructs have been Cornelius Randolph and Rodolfo Duran.
In the first Instructs game last week Randolph homered to right on to the berm at Bright House. Yesterday in a pinch hitting role, he lined a similar shot that hit the wall at the Blue Jays field in right for a double.
Duran has been a standout in his last four at bats over two Instructs games. Winning the game on Saturday morning against the Yankees, he hit a two-run double to right and added a singled in his next at bat.
In the game yesterday Duran worked a walk after getting behind with an 0-2 count and came around to score. In his other at bat, he doubled. Watch his double HERE.
But what caught my eye in the game was his stop of a slider into the dirt that was breaking down away from the batter. He shifted to block the ball and kept the runner on second base with less than two outs. Watch HERE.
Instruct games are over a week fromThursday and the Phillies break camp the next day. In the meantime, the Phillies Arizona Fall League players report Monday to Scottsdale Arizona. They include pitchers Brandon Leibrandt, Victor Arano, Miguel Nunez and Jeff Singer along with position players Scott Kingery, Aaron Brown and Mitch Walding.