Phillies 'amped up' with fans in stands

February 28th, 2021

LAKELAND, Fla. -- and walked onto the field together at Joker Marchant Stadium and noticed the differences immediately.

Real people. Real noise.

No cardboard cutouts. No artificial crowd noise.

“It was definitely weird,” Haseley said following the Philles' 10-2 loss to the Tigers in Sunday’s Grapefruit League opener. “Like, ‘Oh, there’s people here.’ It's been a while. But it’s good. Good energy. It makes it feel a little more normal. ... I felt it warming up sprinting before the game and stuff like that. I was definitely a little amped up. I had some adrenaline.”

The Phillies host the Orioles in Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League home opener at BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater. There will be 2,200 fans at the game, which sold out almost immediately when tickets went on sale a little more than a week ago. In fact, there are few -- if any -- tickets remaining for any of Philadelphia's 14 home games this spring.

“I loved it,” manager Joe Girardi said. “You kind of wish it could be packed, but I’ll take what we can get, right?”

Phils' pitchers walk nine
Phillies pitchers had trouble throwing strikes, other than non-roster pitchers and . Mitchell allowed one hit and struck out three over two scoreless innings. De Los Santos allowed two hits and one run, but he struck out the side in one inning. But Philadelphia's other five pitchers combined to issue nine walks in three innings. Iván Nova, who is in camp as a non-roster invitee, allowed three hits, two walks and five runs in one-third of an inning as the starter. The Phillies hope Nova can provide rotation depth, although he has a March 24 opt-out clause.

“[Mitchell] threw the ball great today,” Girardi said. “That’s the key to pitching, right? Being ahead in the count and being able to use your best pitch.”

De Los Santos hit 97 mph with his fastball. He did not pitch for the Phillies last season, but his fastball averaged 93.3 mph in 2019.

“His arm swing is a little longer,” Girardi said. “He’s got more power this year. He’s back.”

Moniak doubled and made a nice catch in left field. Girardi said the other day Moniak is somewhere in the mix for a job, although he is probably behind Haseley, and for playing time in center field.

“The young man has a lot of talent,” Girardi said.

“It's just maturing physically and everything else maturing,” Haseley said of Moniak. “He looks good.”