Final: Detroit Tigers 6, Philadelphia Phillies 2 ❖ Attendance: 8,156
Clearwater, FLA — The Philadelphia Phillies (10-16) losing to the Detroit Tigers (10-14) seems like an afterthought to the real story of the game: starting pitcher Jake Arrieta's Phillies debut. The righty immediately made his presence felt, as he struck out the first batter he faced on three pitches. He allowed two runs on three hits and struck out two batters over two innings. Arrieta was limited to 31 pitches in his first spring outing, but his pitch command looked solid. After exiting the game, he spoke to the Phillies broadcasters and seemed happy with his first outing for the team and was looking forward to pitching further into games.
A flurry of ejections were the focus of the later innings of the game. It started with the ejection of Tigers starter Matthew Boyd in the fifth inning. After severely missing the plate with a curveball that flew over the head of Odubel Herrera, Boyd ended up hitting him a few pitches later. Home plate umpire Tom Hallion saw this as intentional and likely a retaliation to Phillies pitcher Zach Eflin hitting Jose Iglesias with a pitch in the top half of the inning. Hallion continued to eject any pitcher that hit an opposing batter. In the eighth, he ejected Phils pitcher Parker Frazier, as well as manager Gabe Kapler, who had come out to speak to the umpire in defense of his pitcher. The same happened in the ninth, with Pedro Beato and Phillies bench coach Rob Thomson each being ejected. The five ejections seemed rather excessive, as only one of the three pitchers seemed to have any kind of motive for intentionally throwing at a batter.
The game itself wasn't a great showing for the Phillies and it became clear as the game progressed that the team wasn't going to pull out a win. Multiple pitchers allowed runs, while the bats were quiet against the solid pitching of the Tigers. That combination has been all too common for the Phillies over the last few years. One of the bright spots of the game was the first home-run of the spring for non-roster invitee Adam Rosales. Despite having a less-than-impressive .237 batting average, Rosales could potentially make the team out of spring training as a bench player.
WP: Matthew Boyd (4-0, 3.86 ERA) ❖ LP: Jake Arrieta (0-1, 9.00 ERA)
Jake Arrieta began his first outing in a Phillies uniform with a three pitch strikeout of Tigers' center fielder JaCoby Jones. Arrieta followed that with another strikeout, this time of Jeimer Candelario. However, that string of strikeouts came to an end with a bang, as Miguel Cabrera hit a line drive over the right field wall to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Arrieta was not deterred and retired Nicholas Castellanos on a fly out for the final out of the inning.
The Tigers added on in the second. With two outs, Christin Stewart singled to right field. He advanced to second on a wild pitch by Arrieta during the at-bat of Jose Iglesias. That ended up being a costly mistake, as Iglesias doubled to left field, easily scoring Stewart. Dixon Machado was retired on an excellent play by third baseman Jesmuel Valentin for the final out, leaving Iglesias stranded at second. This marked the end of Arrieta's Phillies debut.
The Tigers tacked on another run in the fourth. With one out, John Hicks doubled to left field. He moved up to third on a single by Stewart. Iglesias followed with a bloop single to left field that was misplayed by Phils' left fielder Roman Quinn, scoring Hicks from third. Reliever Hector Neris was able to retire Machado and Jones to end the threat.
The Phils got one back in their half of the fourth. With one out, Andrew Knapp doubled. He moved up to third on a groundout by designated hitter Nick Williams. Right fielder Pedro Florimon followed with a single to right to score Knapp. However, Adam Rosales popped out for the third out.
The Tigers scored once again in the fifth inning, this time off of Phillies pitcher Zach Eflin. Candelario led off the inning with a walk. Cabrera followed with a single to put runners on first and second for Castellanos. He singled to center to score Candelario and give the Tigers a 4-1 lead. One out later, Hicks singled through the hole at second base that was created by the Phillies' defensive shift, allowing Cabrera to score. Castellanos advanced to third on the play. During the at-bat of Stewart, Hicks stole second base. Stewart was retired on a shallow fly out to left for the second out. Iglesias was hit by a pitch to load the bases and this ended Eflin's outing. Machado, facing Phils reliever Trevor Bettencourt, swung at the first pitch he saw and was retired on an acrobatic play by J.P. Crawford for the final out, which thankfully prevented any more damage from being done.
The Phillies got another run back in the seventh. Rosales led off the inning with his first homer of the spring. However, the next three batters, Quinn, Crawford, and Collin Cowgill were retired on a groundout, a fly out and a groundout, respectively, to end the inning.
Some mild chaos ensued in the ninth. Pedro Beato, who had entered the game in the eighth inning in relief of ejected pitcher Parker Frazier, began the inning by hitting Dylan Rosa and promptly being ejected himself. Bench coach Rob Thomson came out to chat with the home plate umpire in defense of Beato and was ejected as well, just as manager Gabe Kapler had been after speaking on behalf of Frazier. Pitcher Blake Quinn relieved Beato and struck out Jake Robson to begin his outing. However, Rosa stole second on the strikeout, putting him in scoring position with only one out. Brady Policelli singled to center field to score Rosa and make it a 6-2 game. He advanced to second on a throwing error. Stewart struck out for the second out of the inning, but Policelli was able to advance to third, as catcher Cameron Rupp had to throw to first to complete the strikeout. Quinn was then relieved by Edgar Garcia, who retired the only batter he faced on a fly out for the third out.
By this point, the run difference was too much for the Phillies to overcome. They were quietly retired in their half of the ninth, as they had been multiple times throughout the game.
- Miguel Cabrera: 2-4, 2 R, HR, RBI, .333 AVG
- Jose Iglesias: 2-2, 2B, 2 RBI, .317 AVG
- Christin Stewart: 3-5, R, .700 AVG
- Adam Rosales: 1-4, R, HR, RBI, .237 AVG
- Odubel Herrera: 2-2, .195 AVG
- Andrew Knapp: 1-3, R, 2B, .167 AVG
- Alex Wilson (5th, 6th, 7th): 2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO, 1 HR, 11.70 ERA
- Daniel Stumpf (8th): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR, 1.86 ERA
- Victor Alcantara (9th): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR, 3.86 ERA
- Pat Neshek (3rd): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0 HR, 4.50 ERA
- Hector Neris (4th): 1.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR, 5.14 ERA
- Zach Eflin (5th): 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR, 5.79 ERA
- Trevor Bettencourt (5th, 6th): 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR, 0.00 ERA
- Parker Frazier (7th, 8th): 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR, 0.00 ERA
- Pedro Beato (8th, 9th): 0.2 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR, 5.14 ERA
- Blake Quinn (9th): 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR, 0.00 ERA
- Edgar Garcia (9th): 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR, 0.00 ERA
- Friday, March 23, 2018: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 1:05 p.m.
- Bradenton, Fla. - LECOM Park
- RHP Aaron Nola (1-1, 4.50 ERA) vs. TBA
- TV: N/A; Radio: MLB.com