Some good, some bad, some ugly today in Orlando at ESPN's Wide World of Sports as the Phillies took on the Atlanta Braves. The game had plenty of offensive output and plenty of sloppy pitching and defense. The Braves had two touchdowns and a field goal, while the Phillies scored one touchdown and one field goal for a 17-10 Braves victory.
The good: The Phillies offense. The Phillies smacked the Braves' pitching for 17 hits and 10 runs. Domonic Brown was 3 for 4 with a home run and two RBI. Yuniesky Betancourt was 4 for 5. Darin Ruf was 2 for 5 with an RBI. Granted, the pitching competition was not the strongest, but a good offensive showing is always a good thing.
The bad: Rodrigo Lopez and Aaron Cook. The two minor-league contract pitchers competing (in theory) for a spot on the Phillies roster did not do well. Most likely AAA inventory at season's start, Lopez gave up six runs in the first inning to give the Atlanta Braves a quick 6-0 lead. By the end of two the Phillies were down 8-0. Lopez gave way to Class A pitcher Colton Murray to help fill some innings and gave up three more runs. Mostly decent this Spring, Cook pitched the final three innings and gave up three runs.
The ugly: Defense. Darin Ruf (God bless his trying heart) continues to struggle in left field. See the above picture: that ball to the warning track counted as a home run, not an error. Humberto Quintero missed a catch for an error. Ben Revere made a wild throw for an error, and not to be outdone, Ryan Howard missed a catch for his first error of the Spring. Amazingly, only one run of the 17 the Phillies pitching gave up was unearned.
All in all, for matters relevant to a major league baseball team that will play come April, the results were mostly positive. Ryan Howard and Ben Revere will make the occasional error, as will their backup catcher Humberto Quintero. Darin Ruf will need to adjust should he make the team, but his bat has been decent after a rough start. His average is up to .224.
The Phillies return home to Clearwater tomorrow to face the Yankees at 1:05 p.m.