Everyone knows it's Windy!
The game, which was only seven innings long, was played in a strong wind that shifted from blowing straight out to center field to straight out to left center field all throughout the game. The relatively mild temperatures (68-degrees at game time), combined with the wind to produce a hitter's night, which led to 11 different players all hitting home runs in the game. The prospects had three of the home runs - Dylan Cozens, Roman Quinn and J.P. Crawford - while the big league club launched eight. More than a few of the blasts were wind-aided, but there were some very legitimate shots, including one by Maikel Franco to center field and another line shot into the left field bleachers by Darin Ruf that jumped off his bat.
At one point, the Phillies hit back-to-back-to-back home runs off Mark Appel, who threw three innings for the winning team. The third of those home runs came from Cedric Hunter, who is in a battle for a bench role with the club, and went 3-for-4 on the night, with a home run, two RBI and four runs scored.
The old guys didn't disappoint
Neither Ryan Howard nor Carlos Ruiz, both of whom played minor league ball in Reading, were in the starting lineup. Howard provided a little drama in the seventh inning, when he pinch-hit and laced a home run to left off Appel to lead off the inning. Not wanting to miss a chance to see Ruiz, the fans started chanting "we want Chooch!" and manager Pete Mackanin obliged. While Ruiz didn't go deep, he did go deep enough to score Hunter from third on a sacrifice fly for the Phillies 19th run of the game.
Best line from the press box
After Appel gave up his third home run of the night and the Phillies grabbed to go up 16-4, someone muttered, 'isn't this the part where the bullpen phone is off the hook?' The line was a reference to the shellacking the Phillies took last season in Baltimore and bullpen coach Rod Nichols sat in the pen oblivious to the fact that then manager Ryne Sandberg was trying to get bullpen action, but couldn't because the bullpen phone was mysteriously off the hook.
Bulletin board material
If the two teams weren't in the same organization and just looking to play a friendly game of baseball in front of their fans, Crawford would have raised the ire of his opponents. He still raised a few eyebrows, at least among the media, in a pre-game meeting.
When asked if it would be an upset if the prospects team were to win, Crawford replied. "I don't think so. We're just as good as them."
The return of The Mighty Quinn
After one injury plagued season after another, Quinn is hoping to stay healthy this season, but he doesn't fear getting a reputation as being a fragile player.
"I'm not worried at all. Some of the injuries I had were freak injuries. We played an 18-inning game and played a lot of extra inning games last year before I got hurt, so I'm not concerned at all," said Quinn.
Breaking in a new glove
Emmanuel Burriss is still with the Phillies club and is doing everything he can to show his versatility. After Ruf started at first, and homered in his second at-bat, Burriss replaced Ruf at first base defensively. Since being drafted by the Giants in the first round - 33rd overall pick - of the 2006 Draft, Burriss has played exactly two games, a total of eight innings, at first base. That was back in 2011 with San Francisco. He showed a few spots of rust around the bag, but his fielders didn't help him out much, giving him some tough throws, many of which may have had something to do with the wind. Basically, Burriss looked adequate playing first base.
While Burriss is known primarily as a middle infielder, he has played every position except center field, catcher and pitcher in the majors. He's played two games in left and two others in right in the majors and played 12 games in left and two in right as a minor leaguer.
Until we meet again
The two squads are set to meet each other again Saturday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Friday night, the Phillies, who will have some of the prospects available on their roster, host the Baltimore Orioles at CBP. Rosters have to be finalized on Sunday.