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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Game 1: Same problems, same results (1-0)

We all knew that the offense would suffer a setback after losing two of the biggest producers from last season - Jayson Werth to a trade and Chase Utley to an injury. The Phillies offense sluggishly came out of the gates today in the 2011 opener. Brett Myers was permitted to throw just 36 pitches through the first 4 innings while Roy Halladay was worked for 57 pitches. The team's average P/PA should be expected to drop when Werth and Utley are no longer in the lineup, but as the ESPN announcers pointed out, the Phillies did not swing and miss at any of Brett Myers pitches (at least through approximately the first 5 innings of the game). He wasn't throwing the ball past our hitters, so why not wait for a pitch that you like? Clearly, the opposing pitcher was not being worked, so take a few pitches, work a few counts, and get the pitch total up.

Charlie Manuel's lineup was faulty in my opinion (as usual). While I believe the Ruiz should be much higher in the batting order, it is nice to know he isn't batting 8th, as Manuel had Ruiz batting before Wilson Valdez. However, Manuel insists on batting LH batters back-to-back with Howard and Ibanez. In my opinion, Ben Francisco should definitely be breaking up the lefties for the same reason I used to get mad when Werth or Burrell didn't break up Utley and Howard.

The umpires started off on the wrong foot today as well as Roy Halladay was incorrectly called out on what should have been an infield single. The home plate umpire missed a few calls as well.

The Phillies finally managed to pull it all together in the 9th to pull out the win.

I'm pretty sure I've stated this before, but if not, I will go on record now of being skeptical of the Phillies success this season. Yes, their rotation is filthy, but the offense needs to score runs no matter how well the pitchers throw. Today was just the first of many games this year where I anticipate the starters being hung out to dry by the lineup. Luckily, the lineup really pulled together to get Danys Baez what will probably be his only win of the season.

Tomorrow, Cliff Lee faces off against Wandy Rodriguez


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