My hero is Reading Fightin Phils Manager Shawn Williams. Last night his team showed how to make a two-run, third inning hold up as the R-Phils downed the Mets farmhands in Binghamton, NY by a 2-1 score.
On the other hand, the Phillies could not make a first inning lead off homer by an Oduble Herrera stand up in another humiliating defeat to a below .500 team.
After the Phillies’ loss, I started looking for help for a better future somewhere in the Phillies system. I had to go all the way down to the FCL League where yesterday morning two players emerged as interesting alternatives, someday in the future, to the nonsense we are seeing at the major league level. Of course it will take a while but as Phillies fans, we live on hope.
Nothing beats a 2-1 win as the Fightin Phils proved last night. The winning formula was simple: shut down starting pitching, a timely hit, a great catch and shutdown relief.
Starter Francisco Morales pitched one of his best games of career throwing five shutout innings striking out nine to improve his awful record to 4-13. Simon Muzziotti debuted in AA with a two-run double to drive in the two runs needed. Grenny Cumana scored the winning run after getting HBP and made a clutch catch charging in from right field in the ninth inning while Brian Marconi was picking up his 14th save in 15 opportunities this season.
After the Phillies defeat I started searching the Phillies Farm system for help not now but in future seasons. I seemed to have found something but I had to go all the way to the Florida Complex League.
There, I found two interesting players who played earlier yesterday. One is 19 year-old infielder Alexieis Azuaje is hitting .400 (1.350 OPS) and blasted his fourth homer in 40 at bats this season. The other is Anthony Quirion, a 23 year-old catcher who hit his second home runs and a triple in only 16 at bats this season. He is hitting .313 (1.263 OPS).
Azuaje is already having a season to remember. In his only prior season back in 2019, in the DSL, he hit only .281 with five homers in 181 at bats and split his playing time between short and second. He is playing almost equally between third, second and shortstop this season.
Quirion is a little old for Complex League play but he is still 10 years younger than that “33 year-old rookie” Chris Coste who would later help lead the Phillies to a World Series win.
The Phillies just signed Quirion back in July as a free agent out of Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. He is a native of Sherbrooke, Quebec. To read more about him click HERE. Though he has been catching, it sounds like could play the infield corners as well.
I am an eternal optimist about Phillies baseball especially yestereday after watching the Reading Fightin Phils exciting 2-1 win and discovering the likes of Alexieis Azuaje and Anthony Quirion deep in the Phillies Farm System.