SARASOTA, Fla. — Six of the eight hitters Jeremy Horst faced Sunday reached base. Five of the nine batters Jake Diekman faced Sunday struck out.
The Phillies want at least one more lefty to fill their bullpen. Horst and Diekman are both pitching for that job. For one day, their fates differed.
Horst entered during the fifth inning. He allowed a walk, a single, a ground-rule double, a home run, a walk and another homer. He was charged with six runs in two-thirds of an inning.
Diekman struck out the side in the seventh. The eighth was shakier; Diekman permitted a single, threw a wild pitch, hit a batter. One run scored.
The difference: Horst faced hitters like Brian Roberts, Chris Davis, Matt Wieters, Conor Jackson, Wilson Betemit and J.J. Hardy. Diekman saw mostly minor-leaguers in the seventh and eighth innings.
Entering the spring, Horst had an advantage because of his breakthrough 2012. Diekman's left arm is tantalizing, but only when he can harness his command. And that is why roster decisions are not made based upon one Grapefruit League game.
Have a question? Send it to Matt Gelb's Mailbag.