Smith stars as Phillies improve to 2-1 in Grapefruit League play

Blog Image 308722 - Murphy
Pittsburgh pitcher Ian Snell

Its a little after 5:30 p.m. here in Bradenton, and I'm guessing we're going to get kicked out of the press box here any time soon (note to aspiring baseball writers - don't mess with the snowbirds who serve as ushers at these spring training venues. They may look kind and grandfatherly, but they'll mess your world up in a second if you cross them).

But before that happens, here's a quick update of what happened today:

1) Shane Victorino hit a triple to right field that he probably could have stretched into an inside-the-park home run if he hadn't been held up at third. The Flyin' Hawaiian looked like he wanted to go home, but a meaningless spring training game is not the place to separate ones shoulder in pursuit of a roundtripper. Vic finished 2-for-3 on the day. . .

2) The star of the day was an anonymous non-roster invitee with an anonymous name. Casey Smith, who spent six years in the Angels organization before signing with the Phillies this offseason as a six-year free agent, went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored. He also saved us all from the misery of extra innings when he hit a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning to give the Phillies a 5-4 win.

"I said if Casey hits a home run today, people will start liking him  more," manager Charlie Manuel said. "I know his manager does."

3) Landlord Bill fished the keys out of the elevator shaft, I just learned via phone. It was a long process that involved wedging a door open and paying off the maintenance men to lift the elevator car.

4) J.D. Durbin got hit pretty good today. He allowed two runs on five hits, but it probably could have been worse. Still, he downplayed his actual pitching line, saying the only thing he cares about this early in spring is that his arm feels good.

5) Brett Myers threw three innings in a B-Game today. He, like Durbin, said not to put too much stock in his outing (three IP, one run, three strikeouts, no walks, 42 pitches, 29 strikes).

6) Greg Dobbs has gotten a hit in each of the first three spring training games.

7) Tomorrow's game against the Yankees will be interesting because both Adam Eaton and Chad Durbin are scheduled to pitch. The two righties are competing for the fifth and final spot in the Phillies rotation. Eaton will start. Durbin will follow.