Finally, the curtain was brought down on the Phillies 2018 season Friday morning at Spectrum Field. The Phillies ended Fall Instructs by downing the Yankees Instructs 6-1. They were led by Luis Garcia’s two hits and the two home runs by Ben Aklinski. Also the seven pitchers the Phillies used in the game combined to strikeout 14 Yankees and allowed only three hits.
Garcia started off the game with a long single off the right field wall. He eventually scored the first run on a bases loaded hit-by-pitch of Carlos De La Cruz. Garcia drove in the third run on a base hit to left center. Watch his hits HERE.
Aklinski provided the power by hitting a home into the visitors bullpen in left for the second run and a three-run homer over the Tiki Bar roof down the line late in the game to seal the win. Watch his second home run, HERE.
Kevin Gowdy made his first appearance in a league game since August 27th of 2016. He struck out the first batter of the the game. Watch HERE. Coming off of Tommy John surgery, Gowdy threw 24 pitches, 12 for strikes, before leaving in the first inning on a pitch count limit. In addition to his strikeout, he walked two and induced a fly ball out to center. It has been a long road back for Gowdy who was selected in the second round of the 2016 draft.
The Phillies pitching was dominating. The Instructs pitching staff has looked sharp for the most part all Fall under the direction of pitching coach Brad Bergesen. His Lakewood staff had the lowest ERA in minor league baseball during the regular season in the South Atlantic League.
Gowdy was followed on the mound by Robinson Martinez, 1.1 innings, two K’s; Alexis Rivero, one K; Victor Santos, two innings, four K’s; Blake Bennett, two innings, three K’s; Gabriel Cotto, one K and Austin Ross, two K’s. Watch these strikeouts from Friday’s game HERE.
We were able to watch all the home Instructs games. We were fascinated by all the young talent at the lower levels of the system. Clearly, Luis Garcia would get my vote for Phillies Instructs Player of the Year. He can do it all right now at baseball age 18.
Because the pitchers throw only an inning or two, it is hard to get a read on all of them. The four strikeouts by Victor Santos in two innings Friday and Mauricio Llovera striking out the side in turn, in a inning of work to start the Instructs season were impressive. Clearly, Austin Ross pitching the last inning of his last two appearances striking out four was noteworthy.
Now on to the Arizona Fall League which started earlier in the week and Caribbean Winter Ball which starts this weekend.