Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Opening Week: Phillies Edition

 Dust off those Phillies shirseys (shirt-jersey) and jerseys you thought you wouldn't be using this year, the Phillies are 1-0 and started this year off with an unexpected offensive explosion in today's most exciting opening game.  If you predicted two touch downs by the Phillies in their opening game vs. the Texas Rangers today then head to your nearest lottery ticket provider immediately.  Seen as one of the club's bigger question marks entering the season, the offense looked like a well oiled machine today posting a whopping 14 runs out scoring the Rangers 10.  Since 2011 the Phillies offense has been sputtering, dropping all the way to 26 of 30 last year at just 3.77 runs per game. If you clicked on that link, take note of the four teams under the Phillies for the 2013 season...not pretty.  Anyways, they lead the league so far this year with 14 runs per game and finally the team's key contributors on offense are all fully healthy.  While today's outburst was terrific, consistency is a must if this team wishes to make some noise one last time.  Lets take a look at some of the highlights from today's game.

Jimmy Rollins: Now the proud father of two children hit his 200th home run in grand-slam style today.  On top of that he tied Cal Ripkens' record of 14 straight opening day starts at short stop with one organization, impressive to say the least. 

The Three Musketeers: Spark plug Benny Revere had 3 hits today, a wonderful sight to see after going down with a season ending broken ankle last year as he was starting to come into his own. Mr. Consistency himself, Chase Utley, also had 3 hits today, he is still very much the man.  Last but not least is Cody Asche, some think he's a mirror image of Utley with a smooth swing from the left side producing line drives to all areas of the field.  His three hits left him a triple shy of the cycle, but he was responsible for 2 RBI's and 4 runs scored.  Not a bad start for a 23 year old trying to prove he belongs as the every day third basemen on this veteran laden team.

Cliff Lee: In what might be his worst start all year Cliff struggled today giving up 8 earned runs.  However, he still managed to pick up the win becoming the first pitcher for the Phillies to get the W while giving up 8 since Dick Ruthven did it in 1981.

The Phillies:  Today's 14 runs was the largest output by a Phillies team on opening day since 1900, they scored 19 that warm spring day over 100 years ago.  Last year the Phillies did not score double digit runs until the half way mark last year...holy you know what.  As a team they took 6 walks today, a positive sign for a team not known for their propensity to take the free pass in recent years.  

All in all it was an exultant start to the season, but the Phillies will have to prove they are capable of scoring runs over the entire season.  While that sounds rather obvious, just a year ago the Phillies were bottom dwellers in offensive production.  With Cole Hamels still out, the offense will need to continue to back the staff with strong outings.  The week ahead features two more games with the Rangers, and then on to Chicago to visit the Cubbies as they awaken from hibernation. 


Cole Miller, from Haddonfield, NJ, is currently a sophomore Sport Management major at Drexel. Over the summer, Cole volunteered for the 43rd SABR convention, a large convention with many speakers and other events for baseball fans who enjoy the new age statistics being brought to baseball such as WAR (wins above replacement ).   Cole is a huge fan of baseball, specifically the Phillies.

You can connect on Cole on LinkedIn here.

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