The red carpet rolled out and each player walked down from centerfield. Charlie Manuel proudly raised the blue 2009 National League pennant banner in Ashburn Alley. The players were introduced, and the 2010 Home Opener was underway.
The news did not start off good. Jimmy Rollins was scratched from the lineup due to a calf strain. Jayson Werth later left with an injury. Werth’s injury is not expected to be serious, however Rollins could be headed for the disabled list.
Cole Hamels’ second consecutive start against the Nationals did not go as planned. The lefty struggled once again, surrendering four earned runs in 5.2 innings. Hamels struck out six, but his earned run average raised to 5.06. Hamels has yet to put 2009 behind, and return to the form he was in 2008 and prior.
The Phillies found themselves in a 4-0 deficit, but the offense always has a comeback in them. Ryan Howard continued his hot hitting with a RBI single.
Juan Castro caught on to his new team quickly, driving in a run during his first game as a Phillie. Placido Polanco (2-for-4) raised his average to .484 with a RBI single of his own. Chase Utley smashed a two-run home run down the right field line to cap off a five-run fifth inning. The Phillies offense remains hot and has no desire of cooling off.
The bullpen did a stellar job to secure the win for Hamels. Chad Durbin, Jose Contreras, Danys Baez, and Ryan Madson combined for 3.1 hitless innings.
With the 7-4 victory, the Phillies improve to a Major League best 6-1 record. Tomorrow, Kyle Kendrick will look to redeem himself after a disappointing outing last week.
Here’s a pre-game video taken by our Pat Gallen of the U.S. Navy Parachuters landing in the stadium – pretty cool.