Posted by Kevin Durso
Vance Worley allowed 11 runs in four innings in today's 11-7 loss to the Twins. (Philliedelphia/Kevin Durso)
After his last start didn’t go as expected, Vance Worley said he was ditching the split-changeup that Roy Halladay had tried to show him. With that off his plate, the rest of his repertoire wasn’t working too well either.
Some bad pitches by Worley and a couple of errors plagued him and the Phillies today, as the Minnesota Twins took advantage of everything the Phillies gave them.
It wasn’t such a bad day at the plate for the Phillies, but while the hits were there, the runs were not, but there was plenty of scoring in this one.
The Twins jumped on the board in the first. Justin Morneau hit a two-run home run to open the scoring.
In the second, the Twins were back for more. A throwing error by Worley allowed one run to score. Denard Span picked up an RBI on a sac fly to cap the scoring in that frame.
The Phillies got one run back in the third, as the Phillies turned a lead-off single by Luis Montanez into a run, with Jimmy Rollins getting an RBI single.
The Twins got that run back and plenty more in the fourth. Span added an RBI single to start the scoring. Joe Mauer and Morneau each followed with RBI singles of their own. Josh Willingham plated another run on a sac fly before Luke Hughes capped the seven-run inning with a three-run homer.
In all, Worley allowed 11 runs (five earned) in four innings of work. He gave up 11 hits, no walks and struck out three.
The Phillies did trim into the lead in the fifth, getting an RBI double by Carlos Ruiz.
Raul Valdes calmed the storm through the fifth and sixth, allowing two hits in two scoreless innings.
In the seventh, the Phillies trimmed the lead even more. Hunter Pence doubled home a run to start. Another run scored on an RBI groundout by Erik Kratz. Hector Luna capped the three-run inning with an RBI single.
David Herndon came on to pitch, and pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth innings.
Tuffy Gosewisch brought the Phillies closer in the eighth with an RBI single, cutting the Twins’ lead to five. Hector Luna added a solo shot in the ninth, but that was all the Phillies could manage in an 11-7 loss to the Twins.
Vance Worley was not good today. That is clear by his numbers. But don’t let these starts fool you. Worley needs time to develop each spring. Remember Worley was a Rookie of the Year candidate who didn’t get called up for regular starts until May last season.
Meanwhile, the performance at the plate today was encouraging. The Phillies as a team picked up 15 hits today. Jimmy Rollins reached base three times and picked up two hits. Carlos Ruiz, Luis Montanez and Miguel Abreu each added two hits as well. Hector Luna had a huge day, going 3-for-5. Hunter Pence also had an RBI double in a 1-for-4 game.
The Phillies still have plenty of kinks to work out, but for some reason, with spring training meaning nothing, they find a way to make things happen once the games count. Hopefully that’s what this means again.
The Phillies are back in action tomorrow afternoon against the Tampa Bay Rays. Cole Hamels is expected to start.