The Phils start off the 2010 season in spectacular fashion, as they do something they have not done for some time, win on opening day. Behind the one run, six hits, nine strikeouts pitching performance of their new ace Roy Halladay and powered by an offense that scored eleven runs on thirteen hits, including two home runs, with one of them being a grand-slam home run by a returning Placido Polanco, the 2009 National League Champions crushed the Nationals 11-1.
The Nationals would start the scoring off in the bottom of the first, as, with a man on second, via a lead-off single to Nyjer Morgan, who later stole second, Ryan Zimmerman would hit an RBI double to center, scoring Morgan, giving the Nationals a 1-0 lead. The Phils would come back in the fourth, as they took a 2-1 lead on a two-run home run by Ryan Howard, his first home run of the season, knocking in Chase Utley, who has gotten on base earlier with a lead-off walk. Three batters later, Shane Victorino would make it a 3-1 Phils’ lead as he hit an RBI single, scoring Jayson Werth, who earlier got on base with a single, and then went to third on Raul Ibanez’s single, putting runners on the corners, while sending Ibanez, who has just singled, to second base. One out later, after a fly out to right field by Carlos Ruiz has moved Ibanez up to third and sent Victorino over to second, Phils’ starter, Halladay, helped his own cause by hitting an RBI single off of Nats’ starter, John Lannan, scoring Ibanez from third, while sending Victorino to third, once again putting runners on the corners, with the score now 4-1 Phils. After a walk to Jimmy Rollins loaded up the bases, sending Halladay up to second base, Polanco made it 5-1 Phils by hitting a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Victorino. The Phils would increase their lead in the sixth as, with a runner on first, and with one out, Rollins would hit an RBI triple, scoring Ruiz from first, who had earlier walked, giving the Phils a 6-1 lead. Polanco would make it a 7-1 Phils’ lead with an RBI single, knocking in Rollins. One inning later, in the seventh, the Phils would bust the game wide open as, with the bases loaded, via a walk to Ibanez, a one-out single to Ruiz, which moved Ibanez up to second base, a ground out, 2-3, by Halladay, which would move Ibanez up to third and send Ruiz over to second base, and an intentional walk to Rollins, Polanco would empty the bases with a grand-slam home run, his first home run of the year, making it an 11-1 Phillies’ lead. That would be the final score as Hallady, after keeping the Nationals off of the scoreboard from innings 2-7, hands the ball over to the bullpen, who handled the Nats easily for the final two innings, preserving the win.
Roy Halladay gets the win, as he pitches seven very strong innings, giving up only one earned run on six hits and two walks while striking out nine. His record is now 1-0 with an ERA of 1.29. Antonio Bastardo, Danys Baez and David Herndon combined for two shutout innings, giving up three hits (Bastardo (1), Herndon (2)) and one walk (Bastardo), while striking out two (Bastardo (1), Herndon (1)). John Lannan got the lost for the Nationals, as he went only three and two-third innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and three walks. His record is now 0-1 with a 12.27 ERA. Jesse English pitched one and one-third scoreless innings, giving up no hits. Miguel Batista followed, pitching an inning and two-thirds, getting smoked for five runs on three hits and four walks, while striking out one. Jason Bergmann pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on one hit, the Polanco’s grand-slam. Sean Burnett and Brian Bruney followed with two scorless innings, giving up two hits (one hit apiece) and two walks (both Bruney), while striking out three Phils (Burnett (1), Bruney (2)).
The Phils’ bats went a combine thirteen for thirty-nine today, scoring eleven runs, as well as taking nine bases on balls, with one of them being intentional, and only striking out four times. Placido Planco led the team with three hits, as he knocked in six runs, via a sacrifice fly, a single and a grand-slam home run, starting the season with a .600 batting average. Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard followed with two hits each, with Rollins hits being a lead-off single in the first, and a RBI triple, while scoring two of the Phils’ runs. He also received two walks, while stealing a base in the first inning. Howard, meanwhile, had a single and a two-run home run, knocking in two runs, while scoring one. Chase Utley, Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz and starter Roy Halladay had the other six Phils’ hits, all singles. Victorino and Halladay would knock in the other two Phils’ RBI. The Phils had a total of twenty-one total bases and three extra-base hits, a triple and two home runs, including a grand-slam. Not bad for a first game. I just hope there’s some left in the tank for Wednesday.
The Phils (1-0) have the day off tomorrow. Their next game will be Wednesday night against the Nationals (0-1) at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. for a 7:05 pm start. The Phils’ starter will be Cole Hamels (0-0, -.–). He will be trying to show that what happened to him in ’09 is now in the past. He will be opposed by Jason Marquis (0-0, -.–), who the Nationals have picked up from the Rockies, who plans on trying to keep the Nats from being an early tennant of the National League Eastern Division cellar. The Phils are off to a good start. The question now is, can they build on it.