Sitting here in the fading dusk in Lake Buena Vista, just outside Orlando. The good news is, we missed rush hour traffic heading back to Tampa/Clearwater. The bad news is, we're still here.
It was an ugly one today. Phils fell 10-1 to the Braves. Atlanta rocked Kyle Kendrick for seven runs, five of them with two out in the second inning.
1) Kendrick: He admitted he failed in his quest to use this outing to work on his change-up. It's only spring, and nobody seems too worried about the righty. Still, today's game proved that he's going to have to make adjustments to survive this season. He's not a dominant power pitcher, which means he has to keep hitters off guard, which means he can't rely on the sinker that took him through most of last season, because teams like the Braves now have some experience with Kendrick. At one point in time in the second he gave up five straight hits. The Braves were, in his words, sitting on his sinker. Kendrick and pitching coach Rich Dubee both say he needs to develop a change-up that will serve as a nice contrast to his fastballs.
2) Gordon: For the second straight outing, the reliever was hit pretty hard, giing up three runs on three hits in his one inning of work. Nevertheless, after the game, Charlie Manuel and Dubee both said very firmly they think Gordon is throwing well, and that there is no cause for concern. "Flash is fine," Dubee said.
3) Victorino: The one highlight of the day was the center fielder, who went two for three and crushed a double off the wall in left center. He looks like he's starting to find his swing. Again, it's early. But if Victorino can improve on last year's numbers -- .281, 12 home runs -- it'd be huge for the Phillies.
4) Rollins: Talked with Jimmy Rollins after his three innings were done. In case you don't know, he's played in 222 straight games dating back to July of 2006. And he said he doesn't plan on taking any days off this season. "The only thing that allows me to takes games off is the division race," Rollins said. "If you're way back, which we don't plan on, or way ahead, you get a day off."
5) Tomorrow: Phils will play their first split squad game. Brett Myers will start against Detroit in Lakeland. J.D. Durbin will start against Toronto in Dunedin. Roy Halladay is going for the Jays and Justin Verlander is going for Los Tigres.