Phillies Notes: Phils manager: 'We have work to do'

"It depends on the way you lose," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said after his team was humiliated by the O's.
"It depends on the way you lose," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said after his team was humiliated by the O's. (AP)
Posted: March 09, 2014

SARASOTA, Fla. - It is one thing to lose exhibition games and downplay them as practice, which is the purpose of the Grapefruit League. But the way the Phillies - using all but two of their regulars - played in the third inning of a 15-4 loss Friday to Baltimore showed a certain brand of ineptitude.

They committed mental mistakes, physical gaffes, and pitching blunders. The Orioles scored four runs and sent 10 batters to the plate. It was poor baseball, no matter the month or setting.

Manager Ryne Sandberg is disappointed in the 1-8-1 spring record. But what irked him more was how the Phillies lost Friday.

"It depends on the way you lose," he said. "This one wasn't pretty from the get-go and it got uglier as it went, so that's not good. We need to stress fundamental baseball, work at it, practice it, and get the guys together as far as that goes.

"We have work to do. Just a lot of little things."

A.J. Burnett allowed six runs in three innings, although the Phillies defense helped little in the calamitous third inning. Nick Markakis singled to right with no outs and a runner on second. Rightfielder Marlon Byrd did not make an aggressive play on the ball. Sandberg later forgave him for that.

Two batters later, Chris Davis singled to right and there was no cutoff man waiting for Byrd's throw. Davis advanced to second. Then Nelson Cruz laced a liner at Burnett's glove. The deflected ball was not converted into an out. Matt Wieters followed with a routine grounder to shortstop. Jimmy Rollins bobbled it. He threw to second, and Kevin Frandsen botched the transfer. What looked like an inning-ending double play was ruined.

Burnett proceeded to walk Ryan Flaherty and then plunked Jemile Weeks. He escaped with a bases-loaded groundout. The pitcher did not blame his defense.

"It was more frustrating to get 0-2 counts," Burnett said, "and get in situations where you [can] put guys away and [don't]."

Burnett cautioned those who place importance on spring results. He said his teammates have the right attitude.

"We have that mentality," Burnett said. "But it's still about getting ready, too. That's the thing with today. I want perfection. I want to see good results, but at the same time I need to check myself and, you know, three innings is progress. You have to progress. Find the positives and go from there. The record doesn't reflect on our attitude by any means. Guys got to get ready, some guys sooner than others."

Extra bases

Cody Asche snapped an 0 for 13 start to his spring with a fifth-inning double. He was the only starter to play the entire game. ... The Phillies ended the game with a Darin Ruf-Tyson Gillies-Freddy Galvis outfield. Ruf bashed his second homer of the spring, a moon shot off Alfredo Aceves. ... Roberto Hernandez will make his third start Saturday vs. Houston at Bright House Field.

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