With the Phillies taking a day off before opening up a National League East showdown in Atlanta, Thursday was the perfect time to check in on some of the future Phillies making a name for themselves in the minors.
Lets start in Reading where heralded prospects like Phillippe Aumont, Freddy Galvis and Cody Overbeck took the field for the Reading Phils as they lost 8-5 to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
I’ll get to the game in a moment but this game between the 20-12 Phils and 19-12 Cats wasn’t just for first place but it was for bragging rights between former Phillies catchers as Cats manager Sal Fasano brought his moustache to Reading to face Phillies manager Mark Parent.
Reading’s Lefty Ryan Edell took a 3-1 record and 4.33 ERA to the hill to face off and righty Zach Stewart who was 2-2, 3.53 for the Cats.
Edell pitched decently into the seventh giving up three earned runs but was derailed with two outs thanks to a couple defensive gaffes by the Phils. First third baseman Carlos Rivero threw away a ball to first. Then after Jordan Ellis relieved Edell, catcher Tuffy Gosewisch allowed an untimely third strike passed ball that allowed the Cats to close the score to 5-4.
The Phils had gotten out to a 5-3 lead thanks to a two-run homer from first baseman Overbeck (his 10th of the season) and RBIs from outfielder Matt Miller, Rivero and Derrick Mitchell.
But the 5-4 lead going into the seventh wouldn’t last. Ellis (1-1) allowed back-to-back singles before being relieved by Aumont (one of the players acquired from Seattle in the Cliff Lee deal). The tall Canadian promptly gave up an RBI single to outfielder Moises Sierra and followed that up with a go-ahead, three-run bomb from former Phillie minor league catcher Travis d’Arnaud (who was part of the Roy Halladay deal from Toronto).
Game, set, match.
Ronald Oviedo (1-1) pitched two scoreless innings and Bobby Korecky pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his first save with New Hampshire.
A couple notes on this match up – mostly to do with Aumont (who along with fellow Reading Phillie J.C. Ramirez (4-2 and 2.81 ERA in 32 innings) have showed good upside this season.
Aumont got shellacked by d’Arnaud for the game-winner but did a complete 360 to retire the next six batters in order including two strikeouts -- something that he hasn’t always been known to do.
“I’m really proud of the kid,” said Parent. “The kid is a whole new guy.”
The righty looked like a new kid for sure and it doesn’t hurt that his fastball kept hitting around 93 mph.
Also fans should keep an eye on Overbeck. Even though he played at first Thursday night he has been playing all over the field the past few weeks seeing time at third and even the outfield -- a possible eventual replacement for Raul Ibanez?
With the Phillies off many fans tuned in to see Roy Oswalt, Carlos Ruiz and Chase Utley all play for the Single-A Clearwater Threshers.
Oswalt looked a bit rusty giving up three runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out five over five innings. But Utley looked sharp going 1-for-2 with a homer a walk and two runs scored. Ruiz also looked good in his only rehab appearance before returning to the Phils as he went 1-for-3 with a run scored. The Threshers would win 7-5 with reliever Joseph Esposito picking up his second win of the season.
In Triple-A Lehigh Valley the IronPigs lost 4-2 to the Toledo Mud Hens after starting pitcher Eddie Bonnie was thrown out after retiring just one batter. Chance Chapman (1-1) came in and gave up three runs in 2 2/3 innings to take the loss. Tagg Bozied hit his fifth homer of the season for the Pigs.
And finally the Single-A Lakewood BlueClaws shut out the Greensboro Grasshoppers 7-0 behind a combined two-hitter from David Buchanan (5-1), Colby Shreve and Juan Sosa.
Ok there it is -- the farm report. The Major League Phillies return to action Friday night at 7:35 as lefty Cole Hamels (4-2, 2.83) takes the hill against Braves righty Brandon Beachy in Atlanta.