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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

10/17/2020 : Today in Fall Instructs

We spent today’s late morning, midday and early afternoon taking in our first in person professional baseball contest in a very long time 😎... the Phillies Fall Instructs squad played the Blue Jays Instructs squad on Roberts Field at Carpenter Complex.

Barb and I made the long walking trek behind the Complex with chairs in tow along with a mini cooler of water, binoculars, my trusty IPad for note taking and with our masks secured in place 😓 ... later our friends Mark Wylie ( with his mega camera ), Jim Peyton and our daughter Michelle joined us ... Barb and Michelle found a nice shady spot underneath some trees and hung out there while my two buddies and I went to “work” covering the game 🧐.

The vantage point isn’t very good ... almost akin to the Phandemic Crew in Philly peering thru the gates at CBP ... We positioned ourselves near the crest of the trail which allows us to peer over the fences somewhat ... only thing is it’s right in the sun which can be brutal here in FLA 🥵...

The Game : Phillies 3 Blue Jays 2 ( 9 Innings )

Lefty Erik Miller started on the mound for the Phillies ... the defense behind him was ...

Rodolfo Duran - C

Edgar Made - 1B

Jonathan Guzman - 2B

Jamari Baylor - SS

Jose Tortolero - 3B

Jhailyn Ortiz - RF

Simon Muzziotti - CF

Marcus Lee Sang - LF

In the Sixth Inning the defense was switched to ...

Andrik Nava - C

Matt Vierling - 1B

Jonathan Guzman - 2B

Luis Garcia - SS

Guarner Dipre - 3B

Wilfredo Flores - LF

Johan Rojas - CF

Jose Cedeno - RF

Pitching Reports :

Miller pitched two shutout innings ... a perfect first frame where he needed under 10 pitches and then he struck out the side in the second inning. He issued just one walk and allowed no hits. His fastball was too quick for the young Blue Jays and there were quite a few swings and misses on the off speed deliveries as well albeit Erik unintentionally bounced quite a few ... an overall strong outing posting four K’s

Christian Hernandez followed Miller and displayed power stuff ... the 20 year old did not play at all in 2019 but posted strong numbers in the DSL in 2018 ( 2.57 ERA in 63 IP - 49 K’s ... 10 BB ). Hernandez tossed a scoreless inning allowing one hit. He threw quality strikes and punched out one batter. He also made an errant pickoff throw to first base but it didn’t hurt him. Marcus Lee Sang made a nice running catch in left field on a low sinking liner to help his cause ... Sang turned a somersault after going to the ground to make the snag 👊🏻.

James McArthur tossed two scoreless innings and struck out three batters. He gave up two doubles ( one each inning ) but was able to pitch around them. James used his off speed deliveries in pitchers counts but unless my eyes deceived me from our center field view he also seemed to have a bit more zip on the heater than I remember ... he’s a big fella at 6’7” ... the ball seemed to jump on hitters.

Lefty Manuel Silva went two frames ( almost - one was rolled ) ... he was a bit erratic with command and gave up a run on three walks and a sac fly while striking out one batter ... I liked his Asdrubel Cabrera like golden dyed hair color style ... a new look for the 21 year old 👍 ... Manuel has quality stuff ... no hits yielded today ... just struggled with his command. No worries.

Victor Vargas went two innings ... the 20 year old gave up a solo home run but nothing more and struck out a batter ... newly acquired Joel Cesar ( trade with Pirates for Austin Davis ) pitched a scoreless ninth inning allowing one hit while striking out two batters. Cesar looked to have good life and zip on his fastball ... used his off speed delivery as a put away on one of his punch outs. First impressions from our center field vantage point is that he’s got some pop that can play. 💪

The Offense :

The Phillies scored a run in the first inning on a bases loaded RBI single by Rodolfo Duran ... Simon Muzziotti and Edgar Made had walked in front of him while Jhailyn Ortiz had singled. After Jamari Baylor struck out the Jays rolled the inning with one out.

The Jays led 2-1 going into the bottom of the ninth ... Luis Garcia walked to lead off the inning, Wilfredo Flores singled and was pinch ran for by Jonathan Guzman ( he was already in the game but it’s Instructs and rules are made to be broken in these contests 😃) ... both advanced on a wild pitch. Guarner Dipre hit a sac fly to score Garcia to tie the game ... and then ... in another thing ya only see in Instructs ... Flores went back to the batters box to bat once again ... he delivered a ground out that scored Guzman with the winning run ... but wait ... the Jays stayed on the field and Edgar Cabral batted ... he struck out to “end” the game with the Phillies ahead 3-2 ... only in Instructs 🤪.

The Phillies had five hits in total ... at least that I recorded :

Ortiz single

Duran single

Jose Cedeno single

Jose Tortolero single

Flores single

Defensive Notes :

It’s the first time I’ve seen Matt Vierling play first base ... makes sense to get him some training there as the system is a bit short at the position. Jamari Baylor made a catching error in the second inning on a would be double play ball hit to second baseman Jonathan Guzman ... Jamari appeared to rush the play to complete his relay to first base and didn’t secure the throw to him from Guzman. It happens ... is why they practice, practice, practice 🤓.

Using the Camera :

Both the Phillies and Blue Jays set up camcorders on the center field fence to record the pitching action ... each was pointed to the plate. My buddy Jim noticed we could see the display screens on them ... gave us some really good looks at pitch deliveries ... might have been strange for passers by to see two old dudes staring upwards by the fence at those little screens but hey ... ya do what ya gotta do 😂.

Mark Wylie will send me some really great photos later today or tomorrow from the game ... I’ll post those separately on my site and furnish the link so that you can see them.

Was a fun day to get out and see a little bit of baseball ...

Truly a Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

The camera we used to see close ups of the batters box 🤓

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