Photo: Cliff Lee Drives a Golf Cart Like a Boss

Photo: Cliff Lee Drives a Golf Cart Like a Boss

The Phillies kicked off their exhibition On-Deck Series on Monday night at Citizens Bank Park in South Philadelphia. The atmosphere at the ballpark was less about the numbers on the scoreboard and more about welcoming baseball back for another season.

Following that spirit a number of players and coaches were wandering around the park hours before the game interacting with fans to show their appreciation. Chase Utley was giving away booklets in the concourse. Charlie Manuel was signing autographs at one of the ticketing windows. Jimmy Rollins sang Happy Birthday to at least one lucky fan in the stands. Cliff Lee was cruising around outside CBP in a golf cart, picking up lucky fans along the way. [photo of Cholly below]

As for the game, it was tied at 3-3 in the seventh inning at the time of this publishing. Riveting action all over the place. Notable moments included Shane Victorino legging out a triple and Jimmy Rollins getting gunned down at third in an attempted triple of his own. Jim Thome also had a nice moment when the Citizens Bank Park faithful gave him a standing ovation as he came up to pinch hit in the fifth inning. Joe Blanton pitched fine in his final tune up, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits and 3 strikeouts in 4.2 innings of work. The Phanatic, opting to wear red for the evening, shot hot dogs into the crowd from a cannon.

UPDATE: Freddy Galvis continued his impressive spring by ripping a go-ahead RBI triple in the bottom of the seventh. He also had a hit earlier in the evening and made a nice tricky stop at second.

UPDATE2: The Phillies won 4-3.

[video of Thome getting a nice ovation here]

RELATED: Thome and Pence talk about a new season in Philadelphia

Photo captions: Philadelphia Phillies' Cliff Lee gives a thumbs-up as he drives a golf cart to pick up fans outside the stadium before the Phillies' exhibition baseball game with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, April 2, 2012, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel signs a jersey for a fan as he works at a ticket window before the Phillies' exhibition baseball game with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, April 2, 2012, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Doug Pederson: Dak Prescott knew he didn't have to win by himself

Doug Pederson: Dak Prescott knew he didn't have to win by himself

For the most part, Carson Wentz had a pretty successful rookie season. 

Sure, the Eagles finished with a 7-9 record, but Wentz did enough to continue the franchise's belief that he is indeed the quarterback of the future. 

Another guy in Dallas did the same thing with the Cowboys. Actually, Dak Prescott had an even more impressive rookie season, leading the Cowboys to 13 wins, while winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. 

Prescott, a fourth-round pick, had a great year, but didn't try to do too much. And that's what impressed Eagles head coach Doug Pederson the most. 

"[Prescott] understood this right away, that he didn't have to win the game for them," Pederson said on The Doomsday Podcast, hosted by Matt Mosley and Ed Werder. (Pederson also talked about running the Rocky steps). "He knew that he had a good defense, a tremendous offensive line, a great runner, he had some veteran players that he could rely on and he learned that early. As soon as he had the opportunity to play and that was early, from Day 1. 

"That's something that a young quarterback, sometimes it takes them a while to figure out the game that way. That's the impressive thing, that he learned how to handle that business that well, utilize the people around him and understand that he didn't have to go win the game."

While Prescott had plenty of help during his rookie season, it was pretty evident Wentz was lacking in that area. 

Prescott had a great offensive line, Dez Bryant, Ezekiel Elliott and others. Wentz had an offensive line that was missing Lane Johnson, an often-injured Ryan Mathews and receivers like Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham playing serious snaps. 

So it made sense when the team went out this offseason and signed Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, and recently LeGarrette Blount, as free agents, finally getting Wentz some real help. 

"We had opportunities to get those two guys and it was obvious last year, we were young at the wide receiver position," Peterson said. "We needed some leadership, some veteran presence there and we went out and got that with Torrey and Alshon. We still want to build through the draft, we still want to acquire young talent. 

"LeGarrette Blount now is a guy that gives us that big back, running back, that can come in and compete and hopefully he does everything he did at New England the last couple of seasons. He had 18 rushing touchdowns for over 1,000 yards and we just expect that same level of performance here."

Maybe having weapons will allow Wentz to do what made Prescott so impressive to Pederson in 2016: not too much. 

Tonight's lineup: Michael Saunders dropped to eighth in order

Tonight's lineup: Michael Saunders dropped to eighth in order

Pete Mackanin is still searching for answers to the Phillies' offensive woes following Sunday afternoon's disheartening 1-0 loss in Pittsburgh during which the Phils could only muster three hits.

The latest lineup twist as the search for an answer continues will see Michael Saunders bat in the eight-hole tonight as the Phils open a four-game series with the surging Rockies tonight at Citizens Bank Park (see game notes).

When he has started this season, Saunders has been a fixture within the middle of the Phillies' order. After all, the offseason free-agent signing was an All-Star for Toronto last season when he hit 24 homers and drove in 57 runs.

But this season hasn't gone as planned as Saunders is hitting just .232 with four homers and 15 RBI in 41 games with the Phils this season.

With Saunders' drop down the lineup, Tommy Joseph will bat fourth, Maikel Franco fifth and Odubel Herrera sixth against Rockies spot starter Jeff Hoffman.

Tonight's full lineups can be found below:

Phillies
1. Cesar Hernandez 2B
2. Freddy Galvis SS
3. Aaron Altherr LF
4. Tommy Joseph 1B
5. Maikel Franco 3B
6. Odubel Herrera CF
7. Cameron Rupp C
8. Michael Saunders RF
9. Jerad Eickhoff SP

Rockies
1. Charlie Blackmon CF
2. D.J. LeMehiau 2B
3. Nolan Arenado 3B
4. Carlos Gonzalez RF
5. Mark  Reynolds 1B
6. Gerardo Parra LF
7. Alexi Amarista SS
8. Tony Wolters C
9. Jeff Hoffman SP