2011 Game Recaps

Offense Locates Bats, Takes Opening Game

Did Chase Utley's presence help the Phils put up 10 runs?

It appears that the Phillies have spent the past few weeks just screwing with us, as a comprehensive team effort led to a 10-3 blowout of the Reds at Citizens Bank Park. The damage started almost immediately–a two-run homer by Placido Polanco in the bottom of the first was nothing more than an appetizer for a phenomenal third inning for the Phillies’ offense: 10 batters sent to the plate and seven runs scored, six with two outs, including three on a towering home run by Jimmy Rollins. Reds starter Bronson Arroyo was chased after 2 2/3 with 10 hits and nine runs on his record. In fact, Chase Utley was the only Phillies starter who didn’t get a hit through three innings. Utley went 0-for-5, but the rest of the offense picked up the veteran second baseman.

Cole Hamels, for his part, allowed three runs, all on Jay Bruce’s fourth inning home run, and after that inning, both offenses calmed down and did not score from the fifth inning on. It didn’t matter, however, because the Phillies tagged Arroyo and three relievers for 14 hits, three of them doubles and three of them home runs.

The offensive explosion and 10 runs ties the most run support Hamels has had in a game since the Phillies staked him to a 22-1 win against the Reds in June 2009. Hamels goes to 6-2, Arroyo drops to 3-5. Johnny Cueto faces Vance Worley tomorrow evening in Game 2.

NOTES:

-The Phillies 10 runs tonight were their most since April 29 against the New York Mets (10, also). their 14 hits were the most since April 9 at Atlanta, when they put up 15.

-The seven runs scored in the third were a season high.

-Cole Hamels is now 7-0 with a 1.43 ERA in eight career starts against the Reds. Including the playoffs, the Phillies are 9-0 in games he starts against Cincinnati. Safe to say he owns that team.

-Placido Polanco is back on track. After a bit of a rough stretch, he has now hit safely in five straight and had his team-leading 19th multi-hit game of the year.

-The 45,841 that crowded Citizens Bank Park to see Chase Utley’s season debut made it the largest regular season crowd in the history of the stadium. The fans love them some Utley, but as you’ll see by the video below, he’s not too into talking with the media.

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