Phillies 5, Astros 4
Game 2 was won riding on a 7 inning performance by Cliff Lee, who got his first win in a Phillies uniform since the 2009 World Series. Lee struck out 11, making this start his 10th career game with ten or more K's. This offensive performance was highlighted by small-ball, in which the phils were able to push 9 runs across the plate without hitting a homerun and every starting position player got a base hit.
Phillies 9, Astros 4
Game 3 had Roy Oswalt take the mound against his former team, and the bats were able to show their might early with 2 homeruns in the first inning by Howard and Francisco. The sweep of the Astros, albeit nowhere near a playoff caliber team, was a good source of momentum and confidence for the phils to get to start the year off. Hopefully we won’t be hearing any of the "It’s only April," and "It’s still early," as if these wins and losses don’t end up in the standings come September.
Phillies 7, Astros 3
Mets Series: The first game of the Mets series brought the “4th Ace” to the mound, Cole Hamels. This game was far from pretty. Cole lasted only 2 and 2/3 innings. There have only been two other times in Cole’s career in which he did not last more than 3 innings. The first time was due to weather and the game was postponed. The second time was towards the end of the season and he was brought in for relief. Anyways, back to Monday night. The first inning for Cole started off shaky, he hit a batter but he was able to compose himself, and get out of trouble. The second inning was 3 up, 3 down. Things were looking promising. The third inning was when the wheels came off the track, the wheels flew off the train, and the train blew up in a blue and orange inferno. The first problem of the third inning was letting Mets pitcher Chris Young get not one, but two hits, including the leadoff single. Hamels gave up 6 runs on 7 hits and saw his ERA shoot up to 20.25 monday night. Not a pretty picture. The offense was also non-existent, scoring only one run. Granted the phils were not going to go 162-0, so the first loss of the season had to come at some point. much to some fans' disproval.
Mets 7, Phillies 1
Game 2: Once again, the phils bats came alive in the beginning of the game, and they were able to jump out to a 7-0 lead. Even pitcher Joe Blanton was swinging a hot bat, driving in two runs and scoring in the 3rd. Then Blanton began to look a lot like Hamels, and less like Lee. He gave up a 2-run shot in the 4th to Angel Pagan, and only lasted one out in the 5th as he proceeded to allow the Mets come back and tie the game at 7. Luckily, for the Phillies, the offense was more motivated than the previous night. In the bottom of the 5th, the phils went ahead and never looked back. The relief staff went on to allow 2 hits for the remainder of the game, and new closer Jose Contreras was able to get his first save of the year.
Phillies 10, Mets 7
Game 3: Roy Halladay’s second start of the year was very impressive. He went 7 strong innings, giving up 6 hits while striking out 7. The Mets could not seem to figure out Halladay, as he recorded his first shut-out of the year. More impressive, the Phillies offense were able to get 16 hits off of Mets pitchers and every starter got at least one hit, including Halladay. Raul Ibanez got his first home run of the year in the 7th inning, which just added to the already large lead making it 10-0. Overlooked performer of the day comes from the 8-hole. Wilson Valdez went 4-4 Thursday, improving his average to .429 this season.
Phillies 11, Mets 0.
The Phillies have scored 43 runs this season, which makes them 2nd in the NL. Only the Reds have more with 45. The Phillies team batting average right now sits at .353 and their OBP is .407 both of which are tops in the NL. Ryan Howard is currently batting .480(12 for 25) with 2 homeruns, and 8 RBI. Ryan’s Major League numbers have him 2nd in batting average (San Diego’s Nick Hundley is .500, 18 AB), and is tied for 2nd in RBI along with Placido Polanco (2 tied with 10).
Phillies pitching currently sits at 10th in the National League. They have an ERA of 4.00, which will hopefully see a decrease with better 2nd starts from Blanton and Hamels next week. They are 3rd in strikeouts and first in fewest walks surrendered.
Upcoming games: @ Atlanta (4/8-4/10) @ Washington (4/12-4/14)