More “hard to believe, Harry” moments. The Reading Fightin Phils, anchored by three No. 1 Draft picks in the starting lineup, have been able to score only three runs on 12 hits in 18 innings against the Trenton Thunder pitching in the first two Eastern League East playoff games in the best of five series.
Several of the relief pitchers on the Reading roster have struggled too. The pen has allowed a total of six runs to score in the late innings of the two games which have resulted in the two defeats by scores of 4-3 in the first game and 3-0 last night in 10 innings.
On the other hand, the playoffs showed the Phillies do have a top of the rotation major league pitching prospect in Spencer Howard and a middle rotation MLB prospect, lefty David Parkinson. Combined, the two have pitched 14 innings allowing only one run, 5 hits and struck out 17 in the two post season games.
Yet, because of the lack of offense and some ineffective late inning relief pitching, Reading is on the verge of post season elimination. Jakob Hernandez has been the most impressive in relief striking out two of the three batters he faced in his one inning of relief last night.
The best-of-five series heads to Trenton for the final three games. The series will be over quickly with a Trenton win tonight.
Then, Howard will head to the Arizona Fall League which opens up on September 17th. He will be joined by teammates Mickey Moniak, Alec Bohm Nick Maton and Connor Seabold. Also joining them in the AFL will be starter JoJo Romero who was on the Reading roster this season, as well.
The Phillies front office should have added Parkinson to the AFL list especially after his seven innings of three hit, shutout baseball last night against the Yankees farm team. His fastball was sitting in the low 90’s. He needed only 84 pitches for his seven shutout innings.
Tonight, Adonis Medina, who has struggled most of the season, takes to the mound for Reading. In Medina’s last ten starts he is 2-4 with a 6.11 ERA. Luis Severino, on a rehab assignment from the Yankees, starts for Trenton. He has 41 major league wins.This is an elimination game for Reading and could be it for them and the 2019 Phillies minor league season.