SARASOTA, Fla. - Jason Berken needed a good outing today and he got it. He retired all six batters he faced.
The Phillies continue to lead, 8-3, in the eighth inning.
Here are some quotes from Jeremy Guthrie, who was charged with four runs and six hits on a blustery day.
On getting through four innings:
“I’ve been trying to work quickly, trying to keep the pitch count down and be aggressive. And that’s something I’ve been able to do for the most part in all three of my outings.”
On the wind:
“It doesn’t factor into what I do. You always try to keep the ball down, so whether the wind’s blowing out or not, you try to get the ball to stay down and get ground balls.”
On Raul Ibanez’s home run:
“I did not think it was going to be a home run, but at the same time, you have to hit the ball well for to go out to center field. He put a good swing on it. I fell behind in the count and he was able to swing aggressively.”
On whether he focuses on results:
“You always look at the process. I look at spring the same as I do during the season. Evaluate pitches, see what you can do better. Today, I worked behind in the count. Obviously, last game I was 12 of 16 first-pitch strikes. Today, I was probably less than half to the hitters. When you get behind to good hitters, they take a more aggressive approach and can swing better, but you try to do the best you can. There’s pitches I’d take back, there’s some that I wouldn’t. The biggest pitch I didn’t like was walking (Shane) Victorino. Small things. You work on small things and make small adjustments and get better.
“You go out there and you try to work pitches. I always look at the execution. Curveball was good. And for the most part I had good action on the fastball, and that’s what you look at. When they hit a ball hard, you try to break down why it was. Today, I attribute it to working behind in the count and them being aggressive at the plate.”
On whether he’s where he wants to be right now:
“I’m very happy. I like the way the ball feels coming out of my hand. The ability to throw all four pitches for strikes is a real positive.”
Guthrie will face a collection of Red Sox minor leaguers Wednesday at the Twins Lakes Park complex. His next turn will fall on the Orioles’ off-day, so manager Buck Showalter will have to find another creative way to get him innings.
Instant update: Joe Mahoney, also known as “The Big Irish,” swatted a two-run double in the bottom of the eighth. He won’t make this club, but he’s making a nice impression.
Mahoney is playing left field in the ninth.