Cole Hamels had a reason to smile in the Philadelphia Phillies dugout, and that was the fielder behind his left arm for the evening. What happens when Chase Utley is ready? Who doesn’t return to Triple-A Lehigh Valley?
Penthouse Occupancy for the 4-1 triumph: 6
The Crystal Champagne Toast is a salute to Freddy Galvis.
He had a solid sacrifice AB that fueled the 7th-frame uprising, taking 3 balls and a gift strike before bunting into no-man’s land to juice the bags. He sparkled defensively as usual.
Hamels laced a fastball near the dead-centerfield 396’ sign, leading off the 3rd. The ball doesn’t carry at night in San Diego. He also wiggled out of a one-retired, 1st-and-3rd jam in the 4th. Juan Pierre (2 RBI) and Brian Schneider (1 RBI) provided all the offense the red pinstripes would need in the 7th. Big Truck Contreras rumbled up the hill for his season debut to protect a 2-run advantage in the 7th, and after a 4-toss walk, he threw 2 grounders, getting the job done. Shane Victorino blasted one into the leftfield crowd after he was plunked but didn’t get the base during the 8th.
The Warehouse showed off the 3rd-inning leather of Galvis and Hunter Pence during a control-challenging turn for Hamels. King Cole shoveled a safety-squeeze bunt by the opposing hurler for the out at the dish to perfection during the 4th. Freddy turned a 7th-frame DP under the extreme pressure of getting blown-up.
Pierre was found guilty in the Kangaroo Court House. He went out of the batter’s box on a sac-bunt try in the 3rd.
The House Of Blues was visited by Cole with 2 balk calls (2nd & 4th) and the 3rd-inning ruling on Juan for a batter’s-box infraction. Vic was called for stepping into a HBP during the 8th.
Rally Tal & Cap: 5 singles produced 3 tallies in the 7th.
Pierre found the Big House Key in his locker after a knock and 2 RBI were swiped during the 8th.
A House Call was ordered for Chooch Ruiz, who has a sore wrist after the play at the plate on Thursday night. He’ll miss one more day.
I will publish after every battle that is not washed out. The Phillies finished last summer 42 games over .500, which equaled a year of many positives. I will have many season-long highlights of puzzle pieces, especially important after drubbings and defeats.
If you were directed here by a feed and this article does not mention yesterday’s contest, please go to my author archives or Phillies page for my most recent coverage. (Early morning readers may arrive before the latest post.) Scroll down to Tal’s Handy Links at the bottom. Thank you.
Second 2nd Sacker:
He hasn’t kept second warm; he’s set it on fire. The blaze is in the 8 hole. Cholley Manuel hinted that Freddy will be on the squad after Utley takes the field for the parent franchise. He has opened everybody’s eyes with his approach, instincts and his here-to-stay attitude. He got his chance in the majors and he didn’t wilt under the spotlight. In fact, he has flourished and last night was the best example. The end result is that he is on the team, and someone else is headed to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
In a spring training review, I figured he would make the cut even with Chase at 2nd. My thinking was that he would hit more than Michael Martinez, and be solid with the glove. With Jimmy Rollins and Utley here for the foreseeable future, there was no reason to stash him at Triple-A. My only question was his play at 2nd and 3rd, which was answered when he took grounders for both positions. I could see him giving Jimmy, Chase and Polly Polanco needed days off, and he would get plenty of at-bats to make it worthwhile. He would even get the chance to shine or shrink.
I usually put no stock in March numbers, like Galvis accumulating 14 RBI to lead the club. That said, he is averaging .244 with 5 RBI, which is tied for 2nd, so far. April is a cruel month for rookies who can succeed or fail on the big stage. However, he is an igniter with an inferno in his belly. His time in Utley’s spot has been short, but he adapted when the rap on the door occurred. His play at 2nd has been a revelation, and Chase could play 1st until Ryan Howard is back. I’m more surprised when he doesn’t make a spectacular fielding gem in a battle, and I’m amazed that I’m astonished.
He is having another Cy Young campaign, and the Pads would flounder against his off-night stuff. That said, his last opportunity was a grind, and he always roars back with his follow-up to a struggling performance. This park and organization is no match for Doc under any circumstances.
[table id=127 /]
He is another one of their young guns, who has done well after 3 months in the rotation. He is at the exposure point with 1 good, 1 bad and 1 excellent outing for 2012. If he survives until July 1, he will hit the 1 full-year mark, or he’ll be replaced by another prospect from the Pacific Coast League. Remember, his effort tonight is against the crippled local lumber.
[table id=84 /]
Quality number of the pitcher: 1 – 5
Slot on his club: 1 – 5
Ranking is 1 to 5 & 15 for the less adventurous.
[table id=100 /]
[table id=86 /]
[table id=116 /]
[table id=137 /]
3RD TURN OF THE HORSEMEN:
[table id=83 /]
The next preview of Nitecap Insight is on hold due to continuing feed problems. It will return shortly at Tal’s Handy Caps on Facebook. Join for notification of future glimpses, which will be almost daily. You’ll also know immediately when my isportsweb post goes up. It might be worth your while because I have seen delays of 2 hours on feeds.
Check out my previous publication (Summer 2.0), and the 30 storylines–so far–for 2012 on the Phillies page or my author archives, where there is an excerpt photo.
Tal’s Handy Stats is daily coverage. I am alternating the 2012 ERA For The NL East and the 2012 ERA For The MLB 5. Thank you, to all who bookmarked the Phillies page, because feeds are erratic at times.