The Philadelphia Phillies (1-2) will begin their first road trip of the 2009 season this afternoon by facing the Colorado Rockies (2-1) at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado. The game will begin at 2:10 pm mountain time. The Phillies, who are now looking for their first series win, will send their ace, Cole Hamels, to the mound. Hamels, who was perfect in the post-season last season, going 4-0 in five starts, with a 1.80 ERA, as he won the 2008 National League Championship Series and the 2008 World Series MVP Awards, coming of age as one of baseball’s elite starters. During the regular season, he was 14-10 with a 3.09 ERA in 33 starts, including two complete games. His 2009 record is presently 0-0 with a -.– ERA. He will be gunning for his first victory of the season, and to pitch the first quality start by one of the Phils’ starters. The Colorado Rockies will counter with Jason Marquis, who will be pitching his first game as a member of the Rockies pitching staff. Last season, as a member of the 2008 National League Central Division Champions Chicago Cubs, Marquis went 11-9 with a 4.53 ERA in 29 games, with 28 of them being starts. He will be looking to get rid of the sour taste left in his mouth being a member of a Cubs team that got swept in the Divisional Championship Series by the Los Angeles Dodgers. His 2009 record is also 0-0 with a -.– ERA. He will also be going for his first win of the season.
The Phillies, with 2008 finally behind them, as they have finally received their 2008 World Series rings on Wedensday, will be trying to put together both their first winning streak and their first series win for 2009. Chase Utley is presently leading the team in batting average among the regulars with a .364 batting average (4-11), followed by Carlos Ruiz at .333 (3-9), Raul Ibanez at .273 (3-11) and Ryan Howard at .250 (3-12). Utley also leads the team in hits with 4, followed by Ruiz, Ibanez and Howard with 3 hits apiece, while Ibanez leads the team in RBIs with 3, followed by Utley with 2. Ibanez also has the team’s only home run.