So here we are at the Fall Star Break, with the Scottsdale Scorpions in a tight race to the bottom. But hey, there are two weeks left to the season, so anything can happen! Today’s game at the Stadium, and for that matter all of the games today, went only seven innings. The announced reason was so that available pitchers would have a little more rest before the game. With a seven inning game that meant beer sales were halted in the 5th and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” was sung in the 5th as well. Come to think of it, only Bobble-Head-Giveaway-Friday wasn’t impacted this afternoon. (It’s the little things that count in life.)
Luke Leftwich, the Phillies right-handed pitching prospect with an immaculate ERA and WHIP who looks like he’s ready to jump up to The IronPigs in April, had another stellar outing sawing off bats and generating popups.
Luke’s middle name is Taylor and he wears #44 – the same uniform # as Taylor Phillips, the first Phillies pitcher I saw come out of the bullpen in Connie Mack Stadium during my first game in 1959. (Phillips claim to fame was that he was traded to the White Sox in 1961 for Andy Carey, a journeyman 3B who refused to report to the Phils way before Curt Flood and J.D. Drew drew headlines!)
Jonathan Hennigan, a lanky lefty who replaced Sixto Sanchez on the roster, had a nice 1-2-3 outing this afternoon to lower his ERA to 1.59, thought his 1.41 WHIP needs some work. Aside from nice off-speed stuff that drops off the table, it’s interesting to see a pitcher wearing #2!
I think we’ll skip tomorrow evening’s Fall Stars Affair. Though it might be nice to see Vlad Guerrero Jr. on that stage, finding the Phils’ sole rep is going to be a Where’s Waldo event.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m pulling for Austin Listi to get an AB. But his .204/.291/.265 slash lines mean that he isn’t likely to get in unless there’s a blowout.
Besides, the charm of the Fall League remains its hidden gem status, and the Fall Stars Game always draws a crowd which I’m fine avoiding. I’ll be content to catch it online.