Thawed 15-5: Phillies need mound help
Three times in the past month the Philadelphia Phillies have allowed more than 15 points in a game. Their pitchers were again no match for the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday.
Pennsylvania's team can at least take comfort in remembering that are not finished yet. Ace Aaron Nola has done very well so far, as has reliever Jose Alvarado, but Zack Wheeler and Bailey Falter have not shown satisfactory performance.
Among the new arrivals, Craig Kimbrel will add experience to the group, as will Taijuan Walker. Losses to Corey Knebel and Brad Hand, however, could hurt. Top prospect Andrew Painter is also sidelined with an injury for another month.
Going back to the duel of the day, a 15-5 massacre, this one looked suspiciously like the losses of 16 to 4 against the Toronto Blue Jays (March 5) and of 15 to 3 in front of the Boston Red Sox (March 2). Ten pitchers were employed by the Phillies, with Christopher Sanchez and Matt Seelinger allowing four runs each.
On the other side, Marcell Ozuna and Ehire Adrianza drove in four runs. The second hit a grand slam in the seventh inning to make it 14-2.
Will the Marlins turn to Leblanc?
To Jupiter, Fla. The Miami Marlins scored a rare win in recent weeks by shutting out the Houston Astros 1-0.
The home side are 4-11 in preseason games, and have scored five or more points on just three occasions. Could this inconclusive offensive performance open the door to a return to the majors for Quebecer Charles Leblanc?
The 26-year-old is sidelined with a back injury that also forced him to draw a line under the World Baseball Classic. However, the Marlins' many additions to the bat during the offseason had pushed them to place Leblanc on waivers. Faced with the group's lack of attack, the Laval resident could well end up being recalled.
In today's game, Avisail Garcia scored the only run on a solo homer in the fifth inning. Marlins pitchers allowed just three hits, striking out 13 batters in the process.
Jays victimized by Yankees guns
In Tampa, the Toronto Blue Jays lost 10-3 to the New York Yankees after an explosive first inning.
The Bronx Bombers set the tone with six runs on three long balls. DJ LeMahieu, Josh Donaldson and Estevan Florial all stretched their arms, before being imitated by Oswald Peraza in the third engagement. Andres Chaparro completed the scoring with a three-run homer in the eighth turn at bat.
Rainer Nunez and Daulton Varsho drove in the Jays' runs, which saw their winning streak come to an end at five games .
Earlier today, the Blue Jays offered Ernie Clement a minor league contract. The 25-year-old infielder had received an invitation to the spring camp of Canada's only major league team.
Clement has 109 games of experience in the Manfred circuit, he who played for the Cleveland Guardians and the Oakland Athletics.
At the plate, the Rochester native had a career .184 batting average and 30 hits. He's still looking for his first major league home run.