Jeff Francoeur made not one, but two misplays on a Denard Span line drove down the right field line. Francoeur first bobbled the ball after it bounced off of the fence, then whiffed in an attempt to fire the ball into the cutoff man. As a result, Span was able to scamper to third base to put the tying run 90 feet away with one out in a 1-0 game in the fifth inning. Span eventually scored on Danny Espinosa’s sacrifice fly.
It wasn’t all bad for Francoeur. He homered to lead off the second inning, giving the Phillies their first run. He added an RBI single in the sixth to reduce to Phillies’ deficit to 3-2.
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On Wednesday, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman was hit by Cardinals pitcher Ramon Santos. It marked the seventh time an Astros batter had been hit in spring training exhibition games thus far, the highest total among all teams. As expected, teams are exacting revenge for the Astros’ cheating ways!
Well, not quite. The pitch Santos hit Bregman with was a 3-2 breaking ball that got away. Usually, if a pitcher is going to hit a batter as an act of revenge, he’ll attempt to do it with a first-pitch fastball.
José Altuve was also hit by a pitch against the Tigers on Sunday. The pitch, which looks to be the off-speed variety, appeared to graze his uniform as opposed to hitting him flush, so it was likely unintentional on the part of pitcher Nick Ramirez.
Other Astros to have been hit in spring training thus far: Alex De Goti, Aledmys Díaz, Osvaldo Duarte, Dustin Garneau, and Jake Meyers. Not exactly a who’s-who list of Code Breaker operatives.
Will some pitchers intentionally throw at the Astros this year? Almost certainly, despite commissioner Rob Manfred’s warning. Have they been doing it from the moment exhibition games began earlier this month? Certainly not.