Skip to main content

Reading returns home facing elimination

e-garcia
Elniery Garcia, image- Jay Floyd

Trailing 0-2 in the divisional round of the Double-A Eastern League playoffs, the Reading Fightins return home to FirstEnergy Stadium and will need to win out to advance to the league championship series next week.

The Fightins will face the division rival Trenton Thunder beginning Friday night with three wins needed to not go home prematurely. At 89-52, Reading sported the best record in the league during the regular season. Trenton finished two games back in the Eastern Division, entering the playoffs as the Wild Card entrant.

Game three will see left-hander Elniery Garcia making his Double-A debut after posting a 12-4 record with a 2.68 ERA and 7.0 K/9 mark in 20 outings with the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers this season.

The 21-year-old Dominican native asserted, following game two, that he doesn't feel pressure heading into a crucial situation.

"There's no pressure. I don't feel pressure," Garcia said with a calm delivery. "I feel normal. Like every game is the same."

In the outing, Garcia will pair up with a brand new battery mate, promising catching prospect Jorge Alfaro. The two have never been paired together before. Garcia doesn't foresee the lack of experience together presenting any concern. Afterall, he says, they both speak Spanish.

Garcia joined the Fightins prior to the series opener on Wednesday and he feels that he saw enough of the Thunder offense in the first two games of the division series to have a solid game plan when he faces them on Friday.

Trenton will counter with 20-year-old lefty Justus Sheffield on the mound. Sheffield was the 31st overall pick in the 2014 draft by Cleveland. He was acquired by the Yankees in July in the Andrew Miller trade. The Tennessee native made his Double-A debut against Reading last Friday, allowing one unearned run in four innings of work.

Reading's premiere offensive contributor, league Most Valuable Player Dylan Cozens (.276 avg, 40 HR, 125 RBI in the regular season), feels the Fightins are in a good position to advance. In fact, the 22-year-old lefty batting slugger expressed confidence.

"We're real comfortable at home," Cozens said. "We play well there, we've got good fan support and there's just something about being there in Reading, we seem to play better. "

At home this season, the Fightins sported a .718 winning percentage. Obviously, they'll need it to be 1.000 for three days, if their season is to continue.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

PhoulBallz Interview: RHP Ben Brown talks TJ recovery, O'Hoppe, cancelled season

Image- MiLB.com Out of action since last May when it was determined he required Tommy John surgery, righty pitching prospect Ben Brown is using the downtime of the pandemic hiatus to continue his physical recovery.  A 33rd round draft selection of the Phillies back in 2017, Brown made his professional debut that same year, posting a 2.57 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP in 10 appearances in the rookie level Gulf Coast League.  The following season, Brown began to make a name for himself in the GCL, striking out 16 batters in one July appearance.  He would post a 3.12 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in 10 games (eight starts) before earning a promotion and finishing the season with a pair of outings with Class A short-season Williamsport. Brown, a Long Island, NY native, opened last year with Class A Lakewood.  In four appearances with the BlueClaws, he struck out 20, walked four and allowed no runs in 13 2/3 innings and looked well on his way to making an impact on betting odds and available promo codes

2019 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #7 LHP JoJo Romero

JoJo Romero, image- Jay Floyd With a growing crop of very talented pitching prospects in the Phillies organization, left-hander JoJo Romero is certainly among the standouts. The five-foot-11 200-pounder was the Phils’ 4th round draft selection in 2016. That year he helped Yavapai College, the same school that the Phillies drafted Kenny Giles from in 2011, clinch the JuCo World Series, leading the way with an 11-5 record, a 3.64 ERA and a 10.2 K/9 mark. He also tossed a complete game gem to earn the win in their title game. After signing with the Phillies, Romero made his professional debut as a member of the short-season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters. There, he notched a 2-2 record with a 2.56 ERA while striking out 31 and walking 11 in 45 2/3 innings. In 2017, he got off to a terrific start with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. In 13 starts, Romero tallied a 5-1 record with a 2.11 ERA and a 9.3 K/9 mark and was honored as a South Atlantic League mid-season All-Star. R

Kendrick & LaGrossa- Second Phils/Survivor Marriage

On Saturday, Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick married 3-time Survivor contestant and former Flyers employee Stephenie LaGrossa. The couple exchanged vows in front of 105 guests at the Silverado Resort in Napa, California. Their special day featured many personalized aspects, including cocktail hour snacks modeled in the fashion of mini Philly cheesesteaks, as well as the couple's two dogs, Bebe and Champ, serving as flower girl and ring bearer during the ceremony. The pets wore a white dress and a tuxedo, respectively. Kendrick is now the second Phillies pitcher to marry a former contestant of the CBS reality competition program, as lefty Cole Hamels wedded Heidi Strobel, who appeared on the sixth season of Survivor, in 2007. _________________________________________________________________ Be sure to follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter, for updates, stats and info, by clicking HERE . Photos- People.com