The Reds took an early lead in the bottom of the first as, with a man on second, via Zack Cozart’s lead-off double, and with nobody out, Eugenio Suarez hits a ground ball to shortstop Freddy Glavis, who then throws to first, as Cozart heads for third base. The throw eludes first baseman Ryan Howard for a missed catch error, allowing Cozart to score from third base on the error by Howard for the game’s first run, giving the Reds a 1-0 lead, while Suarez would be safe at first on the error. The Phils took the lead in the top of the second as, with one man on, and with two men out, Galvis would hit a two-run home run, his first home run of the season, knocking in Carlos Ruiz, who had started the inning off with a single, giving the Phils a 2-1 lead. It would stay that way as the Phils’ opening day pitcher, Jeremy Hellickson, would pitch six strong innings, giving up an unearned run on three hits, followed by Jeanmar Gomez, who would pitch a scoreless inning. But then the wheel came off in the bottom of the eighth as the Reds loaded up the bases via a lead-off walk by Adam Duvall, a double by Scott Schebler, sending Duvall on to third base, and a walk by Billy Hamilton, and with nobody out, Cozart would hit a sacrifice fly to right for the inning’s first out, scoring Duvall from third base, tying the game up at two-all, while sending Schebler up to third base and Hamilton on to second base, thanks to how deep the ball went. Two batters later, after Suarez is walked to reload the bases, Joey Votto would hit an RBI single, knocking in both Schebler and Hamilton, giving the Reds a 4-2 lead, while moving Suarez up to second base. The Reds then made it a 6-2 lead two batters later, after they had reloaded the bases as Brandon Phillips is hit by the pitch, moving both runners up a base, and with still one man out, as Jay Bruce hits a two-run single, knocking in Suarez and Votto, while Philips would go on to third base, before attempting to score on center fielder Odubel Herrera’s fielding error, but is thrown out at the plate by a throw from Galvis, with catcher Ruiz putting on the tag, for the inning’s second out. That would end up being the final score as J.J. Hoover would come in to pitch the top of the ninth, throwing a 1-2-3 inning, getting Peter Bourjos to ground out for the game’s final out.
Jeremy Hellickson received a no-decision in spite of pitching six strong innings, giving up an unearned run on three hits, while striking out six. Jeanmar Gomez received his first hold of the season as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. David Hernandez (0-1, *.**) took the lost as he pitched to just third batters, getting none of them out, as he gave up three runs on a hit and two walks. James Russell committed his first blown save of the season as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up two runs on a hit and a walk. Hector Neris pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit, while also hitting a batter. Raisel Iglesias also received a no-decision as he pitched six innings, giving up two runs on six hits, while striking out seven. Jumbo Diaz pitched one and a third scoreless innings, striking out a batter. Tony Cingrani pitched a third of an inning, giving up a walk, while striking out a batter. Ross Ohlendorf (1-0, 0.00) got the win as he also pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only batter he’d faced. J.J. Hoover pitched a 1-2-3 inning.
The Phils had six hits in the game, with Cesar Hernandez leading the ballclub with two hits, a single and a double. Maikel Franco followed with a single, Carlos Ruiz with a single, Freddy Galvis with a home run (two RBIs) and the Phils’ starter Jeremy Hellickson with a single. The Phils also had a walk in the game (Odubel Herrera). The defense would perform one double play while committing two errors, a missed catch error by Ryan Howard and a fielding error by Herrera.
After taking yesterday off, the Phils and the Reds will continue their three-game series in Cincinnati with a night game tonight at Great American Ball Park. The game is to begin at 7:30 pm EST. The Phils will send to the mound Aaron Nola (0-0, -.–) who will be starting his first game of 2016, having ended 2015 with a record of 6-2 and an ERA of 3.59, in 13 starts. He will be trying to give the Phils their first victory of 2016, as well as gain his first win of the season. The Reds will counter with Brandon Finnegan (0-0, -.–) who had a record of 5-2 last season, pitching for both the Royals and the Reds, with an ERA of 3.56, in 20 games, four of which were starts. He will also be going for his first win of 2016, as well as trying to give the Reds the series win. The Phils will be trying for their first victory of the young season, as they hope the bullpen won’t blow another late lead.
The Braves took the lead in the bottom of the first as, with one man on, and with two men out, Freddie Freeman hits a two-run bomb to right field, his first home run of the season, knocking in Jason Heyward, who had earlier walked, giving the Braves a 2-0 lead. The Braves added to their lead in the second as Dan Uggla started off the bottom of the second with a solo home run, his first home run of the season, giving the Braves a 3-0 lead. The Braves then made it a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the third as, with a runner on third, and with two men out, Freeman hits an RBI single, scoring Andrleton Simmons, who had started the inning off with a double, then stopped at third base on Justin Upton’s fly out to right. The Phils then got on the board in the top of the fourth as Chase Utley started the inning off with a solo shot to straight center field, his first home run of the season, and the 200th home run of his career, cutting the Braves’ lead to 4-1. The Phils would make it a 4-3 Braves’ lead in the top of the fifth as, with the bases loaded, via a single by Cole Hamels, a walk by Ben Revere, moving Hamels up to second base, and a single by Jimmy Rollins, sending Hamels on to third base and Revere up to second base, and with one man out, Utley hits a two-run single, knocking in Hamels and Revere, while sending Rollins on to third base, beating the throw, before moving up to second base on the throw. After Braves’ manager Freddie Gonzalez replaces starter Tim Hudson with Luis Avilan, Avilan stops the damage by first striking out Ryan Howard for the inning’s second out, and after intentionally walking Michael Young to reload the bases, gets Dom Brown to ground out softly, 4-3, for the inning’s final out. The Braves would get a run back in their half of the fifth as, with one man out, Upton hits a solo home run, his first home run of the season, giving the Braves a 5-3 lead. The Braves increased their lead in bottom of the sixth as, with runners on second and third, and with nobody out, Gerald Laird hits an RBI single, knocking in Uggla, who had started the inning off with a walk, then stopped at third base on Chris Johnson’s double, giving the Braves a 6-3 lead, while sending Johnson, who had just singled, on to third base. The Braves then took a 7-3 lead as pinch-hitter Reed Johnson hits into a 1-6-3 double play, wiping out Laird at second base for the inning’s first out, scoring C. Johnson, who beat Howard’s wide and late throw to the plate. The Phils got one run back in the top of the seventh as, with a man on third, and with one man out, Howard hits an RBI ground out, three-unassisted, knocking in Utley, who had just tripled, making it a 7-4 Braves’ lead. The Phils then cut the Braves’ lead down to 7-5 in the top of the eighth as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Erik Kratz hits an RBI single, knocking in John Mayberry, Jr., who had earlier doubled, then moved up to third on Jordan Walden’s wild pitch. That would be the final score as Craig Kimbrel would come in and collect his first save of the season as he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, getting Howard to fly out for the game’s final out.
Cole Hamels (0-1, 9.00) took the lost as he went five innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out five. Chad Durbin pitched to three batters, getting none of them out, as he gave up two runs on two hits and a walk. Jeremy Horst pitched two innings, as he gave up a hit, while striking out two. Philippe Aumont pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk, while striking out a batter. Tim Hudson received a no-decision as he went four and a third-innings, giving up three runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out a batter. Luis Avilan (0-1, 0.00) picked up the win as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up an intentional walk, while striking out a batter. Eric O’Flaherty pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit. Jordan Walden recorded his first hold of the year as he threw an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a wild pitch, while striking out a batter. Craig Kimbrel recorded his first save of the season as he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out a batter.
The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Chase Utley (Single, Triple, Home Run, 3 RBIs) leading the team with three hits, being a double short of hitting the cycle. Ben Revere (Single), Jimmy Rollins (Single), Dom Brown (Single), John Mayberry, Jr. (Double), Erik Kratz (Single, RBI) and Cole Hamels (Single) had the other seven Phils’ hits. Ryan Howard knocked in the final Phil’s run with a ground out. The Phils also had a four walks (Revere, Young (2), Brown) and a stolen base (Revere (1)) in the ballgame.
The Phils (0-1, T-4th) will continue their three games series with the Braves (1-0, T-1st) with a night game tomorrow night at Turner Field. The game is to start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Roy Halladay (0-0, -.–) who is coming off a bad 2012, and a so-so spring. Halladay and the Phils both hope that he’ll rebound from last season. The Braves will counter with Paul Malholm (0-0, -.–) who is coming off a so-so 2012 season between the Cubs and the Braves. He hopes to pitch better this season. The Phils will be trying to even up the series, while hoping that the old Doc will return.
The Phils have finally announced their opening day roster…
The starting eight:
Ryan Howard – 1B
Wilson Valdez – 2B
Jimmy Rollins – SS
Placido Polanco – 3B
Raul Ibanez – LF
Shane Victorino – CF
Ben Francisco – RF
Carlos Ruiz – C
Brian Schneider – C
Michael Martinez – INF
Pete Orr – INF
Ross Gload – OF
John Mayberry, Jr. – OF
Roy Halladay (Ace)
Kyle Kendrick (Longman)
J.C. Romero (Left-handed specialist)
Ryan Madson (8th Inning)
Jose Contreras (Closer)
Chase Utley, Brad Lidge, Domonic Brown
The roster is, of course, subject to change during the season, especially with Lidge and Brown expected to be back, although Brown will more then likely be spending time at Lehigh Valley to get back his stroke and Lidge might also spend some time there to work on his arm before returning to the main team. As for Utley, no real idea when he’ll be back this year, if at all, because of his bum right knee, so I would not be surprised if the Phils make a trade for a second baseman by the trade deadline in August. The Phils should, hopefully, be able to manage without both Lidge and Utley, thanks to their starting rotation, and some comeback seasons from Howard, Rollins and Ibanez, especially Rollins, as he is in a contract year.
A brief history of the Phillies on Opening Day
Hmm, time for a short history lesson, folks.
The 129th season opener in Phillies franchise history is set for Friday afternoon against the Astros at Citizens Bank Park.
Back on May 1, 1883, the Phillies lost their initial opener, 4-3, to Providence at Recreation Park, 24th and Columbia Avenues, when the Grays scored four runs in the eighth to overcome a 3-0 deficit. Attendance was an estimated 1,200. Future Hall of Famer Charles (Old Hoss) Radbourn was the winner, the first of 48 victories for him that season. John Coleman was the loser, the first of his 48 defeats (13 wins).
Since then, 1,880 players have worn the Phillies uniform, and 128 million fans have attended games in Philadelphia.
The initial loss seemed to set the tone, as the Phillies have won 57 openers and lost 69, with a pair of ties (1923 at Brooklyn, 5-5, in 14 innings, and 1924 vs. Boston, 6-6, in 11 innings.).
Friday’s opener marks only the third time in Astros history that they have started a season against the Phillies. The most logical reasoning is that they are in the NL Central. So, the Phillies will see Houston at home in the first three games and not the rest of the season.
The Phillies are 2-0 all time in openers vs. Houston, winning 2-0 behind Chris Short on April 12, 1965, the very first regular season game in the Astrodome. Dick Allen hit the Dome’s first home run during the season. The other Phillies win came on April 5, 1993, also in the Astrodome. Terry Mulholland was the winner in a 3-1 final.
Of the previous 128 openers, 12 have gone extra innings, with the most recent being a 5-3 loss to the Braves at Citizens Bank Park in 2007.
Other Opening Day notes:
• The Phillies are 1-1 in openers played on April 1 (no foolin’), a 3-0 Curt Schilling win in Los Angeles in 1997 and a 7-2 setback at the hands of the Braves in 2002.
• The latest season opener for the Phillies was May 2, an 8-2 defeat against Providence in 1885.
• Roy Halladay is bidding to win back-to-back season openers for the Phillies. The last pitcher to do that was Art Mahaffey, 1962-63. Halladay was the winner in an 11-1 romp at Washington a year ago, which started a new decade.
• Last decade, the Phillies were 3-7, losing the last four.
• As far as Citizens Bank Park season openers, the Phillies are 1-4.
• Hall of Famer Robin Roberts has the most Opening Day wins for the Phillies, five, and most losses, six.
• The Phillies have had a winning pitcher named Blanton, only it was Cy and not Joe, the current starter. Cy Blanton was the 1941 winner against the Braves on April 15. Wonder if he had to file his income tax forms that same day? (H/T Phillies.com)
All I can say is, I hope Halladay will be able to make the Phils 3-0 against the Astros in opening day games between the two clubs.
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.
With Opening Day/Night now just two weeks away, Kyle Kendrick finally pitched a good game yesterday afternoon, as the Phillies lose a close one to the Minnesota Twins, 2-1.
Kyle Kendrick started the game for the Phils. In the first inning, he gave up two runs on ground ball hits that his infielders were unable to field, giving the Twins an early 2-0 lead. He would then settle down and pitch four shut out innings. Total, he pitched five innings, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk while striking out four. Clay Condrey followed him, pitching two scoreless innings, giving up three hits. Brad Lidge and Scott Eyre then took the mound, with both men pitching a shut out inning as they gave up a hit (Lidge) and a walk (Lidge) while striking out three Twins (Lidge (2), Eyre (1)). Kendrick took the lost, his grapefruit league record now at 1-3 with a 9.20 ERA.
The Phillies got only five hits in the game, with John Mayberry, Jr., leading the way with two hits. Eric Bruntlett, Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz got the other three hits, with Bruntlett’s hit being a solo home run, knocking in the only Phils’ run, as Twins’ pitching keeps the bats silent.
Meantime, Cole Hamels pitched a bullpen session yesterday, saying that his elbow felt fine. He should be pitching in a minor league game this upcoming week. Hopefully, this means that he will be ready for Opening Night, if not actually be the Opening Night pitcher.
The Phillies next game will be played this afternoon against the Boston Red Sox. The game starts at 1:05 pm.
As the Phillies continue to get ready for their first game of the regular season on Sunday, April 5 against the Atlanta Braves, their first game of Spring Training will take place in less than two days. On Wednesday, February 25, they will play a 1:05 pm Eastern Grapefruit League game with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Pirates’ Spring Training home of Bradenton, Florida, at McKechnie Field. The Phillies will open their Spring Training schedule with Jamie Moyer and Joe Blanton on the mound.
Meanwhile, Chase Utley has been participating in fielding his position and in batting practice, but not taking any swings while in the cage, although he has taken swings elsewhere, and not on the batting tee, as he tries to get himself ready for opening day, although the Phils will be keeping an eye on him to prevent the possibility of a set-back through Utley’s eagerness to start. At the same time, Pedro Feliz is also taking grounders, but he has not been taking any swings in the batting cage, as the Phils worry about his back. But, with such options as Eric Bruntlett, prospect Jason Donald, Marcus Giles and Miguel Cairo in camp, the Phillies should be able to start the season okay in the infield for a few days if either player isn’t ready for opening day.
Phils’ opening day starter, Cole Hamels, will not pitch in a Grapefruit League game until March 4, as the Phils plan to go slowly with their ace, so that he will be ready to pitch by opening day, as well as to prevent him getting injured during spring training, as last year was his first year in the major leagues that he did not get injured.
Ah, opening day can’t come soon enough for me. GO PHILS!!! REPEAT!!!