Philadelphia Phillies (1-0) at Washington Nationals (0-1)
Cole Hamels, LHP vs. Jason Marquis, RHP
Time: 7:05, Nationals Park
Weather: Clear/Warm, 80
TV: Comcast Network
Twitter: Phillies Nation
It’ll be hard to duplicate what happened on Opening Day, but the Phillies certainly will give it a shot tonight. After an off day that gave us time to reflect on the exceptional Roy Halladay performance, Cole Hamels will look to turn over a new leaf of his own.
Hamels will look to put 2009 behind him as he steps to the rubber for the first time since the World Series a year ago. Everyone knows this season is a huge part of the maturation process for Cole. Can he put those demons behind him? Only time will tell. It is known, however, that the Phillies need him to be Doc’s right hand man in the rotation.
Jason Marquis is the Game 2 starter for the Nats. The 30-year old righty is 5-3 lifetime against the Phils, and is coming off of a 15-win season a year ago with the Rockies. As our own Corey Seidman eluded too yesterday, the Nats are putting a lot of pressure on Marquis to be their man main after giving him a hefty contract to come to D.C. He’s probably, at best, a number three starter, but that’s the pitching situation in Washington.
Offensively, the Phillies put on a show and gave Doc plenty of run support in their opening game. The surprise came from Placido Polanco who flexed his muscle early and often. His grand slam proves just how sweet it must be to hit behind Jimmy Rollins and in front of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.
One guy to keep an eye on is Raul Ibanez. He slumped badly this spring, but did notch a hit and crossed the plate twice on Monday. Raul is 1-for-6 lifetime against Marquis, but overall has hit .386 lifetime against Nats pitching. Look for a quick breakout from Ibanez.
Today’s Lineup: Rollins (SS), Polanco (3B), Utley (2B), Howard (1B), Werth (RF), Ibanez (LF), Victorino (CF), Ruiz (C), Hamels (P).
Your Gameday Beer – Hoegaarden Witbeer
On what will be a very warm evening up and down the I-95 corridor, it’s best to drink something lighter and refreshing, without giving up taste. In comes Hoegaarden with its citrusy, light-bodied flavor that is infused with some coriander spice and hints of orange peel. The Wheat Beer is unfiltered, but it does not affect the taste. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s like Blue Moon, but in my opinion, slightly better. Enjoy. – By Pat