2010 Game Recaps

Fifth Inning Rally Lifts Phils

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.

43 Comments

43 Comments

  1. MDefl

    April 12, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    Wow, where is everyone? The issue with Cole seems to be the 4th inning. That is when most of the damage is done. There is no rhyme or reason for it as far as I can tell. The good news is that his velocity is fine, unlike the first 2 months of last year. The problem is between his ears.

    I am more concerned with Jimmy. Calf problems can take a while to heal. Still, not much to complain about yet. Any status report on Lidge?

  2. Bobby D

    April 12, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Hopefully Kendrick can keep the sinker down and go at least 6 innings. The bats will keep him in it.

    Anybody think D Brown could be called up instead of Mayberry if Werth can’t go?

  3. Brian Michael

    April 12, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    I’m sorry to announce that JRoll’s Red Bull home run extravaganza planned for the Parkway tomorrow has been postponed. He’ll be getting an MRI instead.

  4. Doug M

    April 12, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    The Phils are proving themselves strong against the Nationals and the Astros. Before we go bragging about this record, let’s see how we hold up against some real competition. I will be anxious to see how the season progresses but I have faith that the Fightins will rise to the challenge.

  5. Scott in D.C.

    April 12, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    Hamels was impressive about 80% of the time. The turning point was when he walked Adam Kennedy. That should’ve been out three, but the guy was tenacious. Marquis’s little flare over Polanco’s head was just a stroke of luck. The pitch was not bad—and it was to a pitcher, for pete’s sake.

    I’m not concerned about his stuff overall. … The problem is, it’s taking too many pitches to get guys out.

  6. Nunzio Scholeri

    April 12, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    There were things to like and dislike about Cole today. At times he looked very much in control, and when his new secondary pitches were falling in for strikes, they obviously had the other hitters off-balance. I also really liked the pace he set right from the first pitch – no wasting time; he’d get the ball and pitch it right back, much like another left-handed starter who joined the Phillies late last season but shall remain nameless.

    On the other hand, his control was very inconsistent. His curveball was awful today – almost always a floating blooper of a pitch way above the strike zone that only helped the Nationals by giving away free balls. You could also see the difference when those runners got on in the 4th, as Cole lost that efficient pace from earlier in the game. Instead of staying on the mound and continuing to throw strikes, he’d wander around, shake off signs, and generally let his tension about the baserunners dictate the pace of the game. Not a great sign.

    Still, he did handle things well for part of the 4th inning, coming back to get two quick strikeouts after allowing some baserunners, and after the 4th he was back in control, so it seemed like he didn’t let that bad inning shake him too much, which is a definite positive. Overall I think he’s definitely improving. He just needs better control, more movement on his pitches, and a little better mental control. Not a great start, but he got the W and there were definitely some positives.

  7. MDefl

    April 12, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    Scott,

    Every team in baseball seems to know how to get pitchers to increase pitch counts except against maybe 5 of the best in baseball. That makes the relievers even more important.

  8. Scott in D.C.

    April 12, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Nunzio,

    Well put. Agree on all counts. It’s early—and there are more positives than negatives.

  9. MDefl

    April 12, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Cole needs to abandon the curve and work on the cutter. Why not a pure slider? He seems to have the mechanics for that type of pitch.

    Again, I think his real problems are mental.

  10. Juanzus

    April 12, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    Completely agree with with you on that one Scott. I thought his stuff was good today except for a few hiccups along the way.

    I’m more concern how J-Roll’s hammy is gonna be like and if Kendrick can put in a good outing. We don’t have much starting pitching depth so he needs to come out with a solid showing against a weaker opponent in the Nats.

  11. Scott in D.C.

    April 12, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    MDefl,

    “…his real problems are mental.”

    Bingo.

  12. MDefl

    April 12, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Is Dr. Joel Fish still located in Philly? He could help Cole.

  13. WFC010

    April 12, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    I am confident that Cole will put it all together, even if it takes a little while longer for him to iron everything out with his pitches.

    Fans need to be patient, and remember that this is 2010 and not 2009…and Cole seriously was busting his ass all off-season, and I refuse to believe that all of that effort was for nothing.

  14. Phylan

    April 13, 2010 at 12:21 am

    Why is everyone on the internet a sports psychologist again? It must have been an easy degree program that I missed.

  15. WFC010

    April 13, 2010 at 12:29 am

    I couldn’t give much of a flying shit what’s considered being a sports psychologist or not, but what I DO know is that I have faith in our #2 starter to get it together, and I would like to hope that so do most of the rest of you.

  16. joe

    April 13, 2010 at 1:04 am

    listen…
    A. for as bad as the Nats are, they are actually a DECENT offensive team… their problem is pitching and defense…

    B. after the 4th inning and giving up 3, Cole could have totally fell apart…but after the Phils got him the lead, he had two real good innings…he would have went a complete 6 if Castro makes that play.

    C. it’s two starts. Stop comparing him to Doc. HE ISNT DOC….I get it… ’08 he was untouchable, and pretty much won the NLCS and Series himself… but people figured him out…and now he has worked his ass off this off season to right the ship..

    MOST IMPORTANT STAT FOR COLE—– 2-0

  17. Kevin from Macho Row

    April 13, 2010 at 2:23 am

    No game “tomorrow” (Tuesday). Back in action on Wednesday!

    I was going to head down for the Red Bull event to cover it, but I’ll hope he can reschedule it for later in the summer.

  18. Hank

    April 13, 2010 at 6:11 am

    Just wanted to know, if those were Army parachuters then why did their chutes say Navy, USMC or Seal on them?

  19. bfo_33

    April 13, 2010 at 6:55 am

    Cole looked ok, a few bad pitches. Agree that the curve should hit the scrap heap. To bad about Jimmy, he really seemd locked in at the plate. Hopefully, the calf will heal, and he’ll pick up where he left off. The big question is what does the line-up look like now?

    Stammen starting Wed, assuming Gload in right if Werth can’t go. Vic leading off, Ibanez in the 5 hole, Gload 6, Castro 7, or does Charlie leave Vic at 7 to try to work out his swing? I’d put Vic at lead-off, have him try to bunt his first at bat (not a very good bunter, but may shake up Stammen).

  20. The Original Chuck P

    April 13, 2010 at 7:05 am

    Agree with Joe, too many guys on here get wrapped up in stats and nonsense… I must have missed something because the last time I checked, Cole Hamels has 2 wins… more wins than Johan, Jurrjens and Josh Johnson have combined.

    It will be interesting to see what happens if Rollins has to go on the DL. I’m guessing Cody Ransom will get called up…

  21. derekcarstairs

    April 13, 2010 at 7:09 am

    The opener was a day game, and so is Cole’s next start. He’s a different pitcher in the day.

    His career splits:
    Day Night

    ERA 4.66 3.28
    BA .278 .229
    BABIP .326 .271
    OBP .329 .278
    OPS .776 .675
    WHIP 1.395 1.096
    K/9 7.8 8.6
    K/BB 2.89 3.98

    Fortunately, Cole pitches at night 70% of the time. I am optimistic that Hamels will have a fine season, even though his next start may not be great.

  22. therookie300

    April 13, 2010 at 7:22 am

    I for one am going to sit back and enjoy these early season wins for a change.

  23. NickFromGermantown

    April 13, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Before you offend someone, please fix the branch of the parachuters. They are Navy, not Army.

  24. Keith E

    April 13, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Bright spot taken away from Hamels’ start for me is that he ended each inning with a K. I think he will be fine. I thought he had Kennedy rung up also.
    Overall a beautiful game on a beautiful day!
    GO PHILS!!!

  25. Tracey

    April 13, 2010 at 9:00 am

    I was at the game, and I’m pleased to report that they DID play HK’s High Hopes after the victory. They didn’t play it immediately; they were playing Celebrate first, and a lot of people seemed to be waiting around to hear High Hopes. My friend and I wondered if High Hopes was originally part of the plan, or if they played it because people seemed to want it. But they did play it, and a lot of people sang along.

    I’m not sure if they did Harry’s “Outta Here” call when Utley got the HR — the stadium exploded, and I couldn’t hear anything except cheering, though it did take a few seconds before the bell started ringing, so maybe the HK call was the reason for the delay.

  26. NJ

    April 13, 2010 at 9:34 am

    It is just the lowly Nats and ‘Stros but there seems to be an added gear the Phils can go to this year and there hasn’t been those lulls in the game where they’ve seemed sleepy and lost their discipline. Really impressed so far and now…

    Negotiating with Pedro… Outfielder Anthony Hewitt is off too a good start in Lakewood.

    Good times to be a Phils fan

  27. Brooks

    April 13, 2010 at 9:38 am

    According to Phillies.com, Kentucky Joe might be back towards late April or early May. If that’s the case, can we safely project the starters until the EOM? (Keith, you’re seeing Cole 2 more times this month!)

    Site also indicates that Romero could be back in mid-April, Lidge soon to follow. Any updates on Jimmy and Jason would be helpful!

  28. Adam

    April 13, 2010 at 9:39 am

    I think at this point it is too early to panic about Cole. He struggled again but you got to give him a bit of credit; last year he would have completly imploded after a pitcher hit a double. He battled today and at times looked absolutely dominant. He still looks frustrated when things go wrong but it is promising that he is able to throw over 100 pitches at this point.

    The real worry is J-Roll. This is the sort of injury that could derail the Phillies season. He was off to an amazing start and you can’t replace his leadership. I hope this calf injury is minor and a trip to the 15 DL will solve everything.

    Thing that I loved yesterday was Howard ripping a ball to the opposite way and just shitting on the shift. It is great to see him embrace going the opposite way. He seems determined to be an RBI machine this season and his strikeouts are down as well.

  29. Brooks

    April 13, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Moving Shane up in the lineup (hoping he “plugs it in”), continued hitting by Poly, Utley and The Big Piece, we should be able to survive. Like my buddy said, this lineup is way deep! Hitters 5 through 8 can hurt the opposition and will as the year progresses.
    That being said, we need Jimmy –

  30. Miller024

    April 13, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Has anyone noticed cole gives up a lot of runs with two outs?

  31. Manny

    April 13, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Both J-roll and Werth were hitting the ball pretty well. J-roll has been getting on base, just like we’ve been wanting all along… where did the plate discipline come from anyway? It’s gonna be tough to replace him for now. Hopefully it’s not a DL situation for him or Werth.

    I think Castro should get a few games here and there… and perhaps moving Shane to the top of the order temporarily will get him going… On the other hand, I would not call Domonic to replace Werth.. wouldn’t that get his clock ticking? Let Mayberry or Francisco get their work… After all, this is a great opportunity for our bench players to get some work (and hopefully start hitting the ball well).

  32. Gaze_NJ

    April 13, 2010 at 10:10 am

    I actually took a sports psychology elective in college and it was quite easy… but even I wouldn’t pretend to know what is going on between Cole’s ears when he’s on the mound.

    I was actually surprised to see that Castro didn’t get the start at either SS or 2B on Sunday with a home day game on Monday. I’m crossing my fingers that Charlie gives his bench players a few more spot starts early in the season to take the load off his players. May is going to be especially interesting with only one off day the entire month (okay, 2 if you count the ALS event).

  33. George

    April 13, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Werth is not expected to miss much time, and the Phils have enough outfield depth to cover him for a few games. Francisco, Dobbs, and Gload can all fill in. There’s no need to bring up Mayberry or Brown.

    Rollins is the big concern, as Castro is only the number 25 man, and there’s no backup for him. If Rollins misses more than a month, something will need to be done, because Castro will be a huge lineup hole.

  34. Manny

    April 13, 2010 at 10:35 am

    We had this same J-roll problem in 2008 (?) and the Beard had to fill in for him for weeks. He actually did a pretty decent job…

  35. Manny

    April 13, 2010 at 10:39 am

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/04/pedro-martinez-phillies.html

    Phillies in talks with PEDRO MARTINEZ

    “…the defending NL champions are currently negotiating with Pedro Martinez in regard to another midseason return to Philadelphia.”

  36. Chuck

    April 13, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Cody Ransom would be Castro’s backup. While losing Jimmy will hurt….I’m confident the Phils can plug the holes and continue on. Remember…..Bruntlett filled in for like a month in 2008…..and look what happened.

    And as to what’s been said about the “lowly Nats and ‘Stros”……a win is a win is a win. W’s count the same no matter who the opponent is. Take them, chalk them up and move on.

  37. Chuck

    April 13, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Oh, and uh….”huge lineup hole”….

    Yeah, but that double he hit yesterday at least helped right from the very start. Not saying Castro will duplicate Rollins at the plate….but I’m sure he will more than hold his own.

  38. Manny

    April 13, 2010 at 10:45 am

    You’re right Chuck.. a win is a win.. it was enough to move the Phillies to 1st place in the Power rankings.

  39. Phylan

    April 13, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Castro’s only passable offensive season was last year, and that was with an aberrantly high BABIP and even then wasn’t even that good.

  40. Philly Texan

    April 13, 2010 at 10:59 am

    We’ll just have to hope J-Roll doesn’t go on the DL. They’ll be fine without him for a week or so. But any longer than that and it will cost us in the standings.

    I’m still convinced Hamels is going to have a good season.

    He’s throwing the cutter well and his velocity is higher than last season. He gave up four runs, but two of those were on a bloop hit by the pitcher.

    And he didn’t melt down after that, which is a good sign. (He would have imploded last season after giving it up to the pitcher.)

    But the stuff is there.

  41. Chuck

    April 13, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Castro wasn’t signed for his bat. Everyone else will just have to pick up the slack. And who knows….maybe he’ll surprise us all.

    I feel really good about the bench. Ruben did a great job revamping it. The Phils have depth….at least on paper….and now it’s about to be tested a bit.

  42. Brooks

    April 13, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Ransom was incredible during ST. If the unthinkable happens, bringing him up to spell Castro certainly would not hurt.
    Good grab Chuck

  43. MikeB.

    April 13, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    Really nice video!

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