One day you will find the best of times and the next day the worst in times in Phillies baseball.
This is the way we would sum the last two days of games in the Phillies organization. As we wrote in our previous blog, Thursday’s games had everything you would want: close outcomes with every pitch meaningful.
Yesterday’s games were almost all disasters, saved only by a two-run homer by Austin Listi in the first game of the Clearwater Threshers doubleheader. The rest of the night was a “night to forget” as all the Phillies teams lost including the major league team.
It was a good day though for first baseman Darick Hall. Earlier in the day the Florida State League named him and three other Threshers, including Listi, to the All-Star game. Hall had already left town though on his way to batting clean-up for the Reading Fightin Phils last night.
To no surprise, Hall homered and singled in his AA debut and drove-in two runs in Reading’s 7-6 loss in 10 innings. The game was lost on a passed ball and wild pitch in overtime.
We are glad for Hall who had a home run slump in May. He hit only three homers in the month after going deep eight times in April. He homered only once in his final 21 Florida State League games.
The Threshers appeared to have the second game of their doubleheader won with a strong effort by Maurico Llovera. He had a three-hit shutout going into the top of the seventh inning relying on a 95 mph fastball and a timely last breaking slider .
But we observed Llovera having trouble loosening up his back while warming up for the seventh inning, apparently unobserved by the Threshers coaching staff. Then he went on and gave up an infield single, a walk and hit a batter before a light went on in the Threshers dugout that something might be wrong.
The Threshers braintrust then brought in newly arrived Garrett Cleavinger and long-time hanger-on, Alberto Tirado. They did not have it either combining to allow six runs to score in the inning and the Atlanta Braves farm team called Florida went on to win, 12-10.
I had enough of the Threshers nonsense and left the game after seven innings. As I told the usher on the way out “I couldn’t take it anymore”. I wanted to get home and watch Dylan Cozens make his major league debut against the Giants. I was presently surprise to see him get a first pitch, base hit through the shift. Then, I stayed up to watch him return to form by striking out the next two times up.
The good news from Friday’s games was that two guys, who hit third and fourth in the Threshers lineup most of the season, had good games: Now playing first base, Austin Lusti won the first game for Clearwater with a two-run homer and Darick Hall tied up the Reading game with a ground out RBI at 6-6 in his debut, going 2 for 5 with a homer and single.