Game two of the Phillies season looked a lot like game one but without the great starting pitching. Rollins, Polanco and Utley at the top of the order continued to tear things up and Ryan Howard hit another home run. That’s a combination that is going to make it pretty tough for the Phillies to lose.
As a group, Rollins, Polanco and Utley are 11-for-23 (478/606/783) for the season with two doubles, a triple, a home run and eight walks.
Rollins walked two more times last night, giving him four for the season. In 2009 he walked for the fourth time on the season on May 1. He’s on pace to score 243 runs.
In the stuff that didn’t go right category, Hamels allowed three runs over five innings. He battled a small strike zone all night, but the Phillies could have used a big outing from him given their bullpen and the fact that they were playing their first of six games in six days. He looked a lot more like the Hamels of 2009 than the Hamels I was hoping for.
How worrisome is the bullpen? Well, the Phillies claimed Nelson Figueroa off of waivers yesterday and there’s a chance the Phils are going to need him in today’s game and it’s hard to see any of that as anything but an improvement.
The Phils are 2-0 on the season after beating the Washington Nationals 8-4 last night.
Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing three runs on five and four walks. Only two of the runs were earned. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out five.
Nyjer Morgan led off the bottom of the first with the Phillies up 2-0 and Hamels walked him on four pitches to start his season. Morgan stole second, but Hamels struck out Ian Desmond for the first out. Ryan Zimmerman moved Morgan to third with a ground out to Utley, but Hamels got Adam Dunn on a ground ball to third to leave him stranded.
Josh Willingham started the second with a single. Hamels got Ivan Rodriguez on a fly ball to center for the first out. Mike Morse struck out swinging for the second out. Willingham stole second before Hamels retired Adam Kennedy on a ground ball to short to end the inning.
Still up 2-0, Hamels got the pitcher Jason Marquis and Morgan to start the third. Desmond was next, though, and he hit an 0-1 pitch out to center to cut the lead to 2-1. Hamels threw eight balls in the next nine pitches after that, walking Zimmerman and Dunn back-to-back. It put men on first and second for Willingham and Willingham singled into left. Zimmerman scored to tie the game at 2-2 and Dunn went to second. Rodriguez reached on an infield single, loading the bases with two down. Morse grounded softly to third and Hamels was out of the inning.
Hamels had a 3-2 lead when he started the fourth. He set the first two batters down quickly and should have been out of the inning when Morgan hit a hard ground ball to first. Howard tried to backhand it going towards first, but the ball went off his glove and Morgan would up on first. Desmond was next and he laced the first pitch of his at-bat into the left field corner for an RBI double that tied the game at 3-3. Hamels stuck Zimmerman out swinging to leave Desmond stranded.
Howard should have made the play, but he made up for it in with a big blast in the top of the fifth. Second time in two innings that Desmond had a big blow against Hamels. Unfortunate to see Hamels unable to pitch around the two-out error.
The Phils were up 6-3 when Hamels started the fifth. Dunn led off and Hamels walked him on a close 3-2 pitch. Willingham lined to center for the first out. Rodriguez hit a ball hard into left that Ibanez tracked down after a short run for the second out. Morse swung at a 3-2 pitch in the dirt to end the inning.
Hamels really labored in the inning, throwing 25 pitches to put him at 103 for the game. Willingham and Rodriguez both hit the ball well and Morse helped him out by swinging at a bad pitch.
Durbin started the sixth and got Kennedy on a fly ball to deep center that Victorino took at the wall for the first out. Righty Alberto Gonzalez was next, pinch-hitting for the pitcher Tyler Walker. Gonzalez hit a ball back up the middle and off of Durbin’s leg, but the ball bounced to short and Rollins made a nice play to nail Gonzalez at first. Morgan tried to bunt for a hit, but Durbin made a nice play to come off the mound, barehand the ball and throw to first to end the inning.
Durbin was back for the seventh, pitching with a 7-3 lead. He struck Desmond out looking for the first out before Zimmerman dropped a single in front of Werth. Dunn struck out swinging 3-2 for the second out, but Willingham drew a walk to put men on first and second. Durbin got Rodriguez on a ground ball to Utley to leave the runners stranded.
Baez started the eighth facing defensive replacement Cristian Guzman. Guzman hit a ball high off the wall in center that rolled away from Victorino for a triple. Kennedy flew to right and Werth made a fantastic throw, but Guzman slid in just ahead of it to cut the lead to 7-4. Willie Harris was next, pinch-hitting for the pitcher Tyler Clippard, and he drove a ball into right for a double. Bastardo came in to pitch to the lefty Morgan. Morgan popped to short on Bastardo’s first pitch for the second out. Madson came in to pitch to the righty Desmond, who was having a big night with a double and a home run. Madson quickly got ahead 0-2 and struck him out swinging.
Even given what Desmond had already done in the game, I don’t think I would have asked Madson to get a four-out save given that Desmond wasn’t the tying run. He sure looked good against Desmond, though.
Madson came back for the ninth with the Phils up 8-4. He struck out Zimmerman before Dunn lined a single into left. Willingham was next and he singled into center, moving Dunn to second. Rodriguez swung at the first pitch he saw from Madson and hit into a double-play to end the game.
Long night for the pen, forced to go four innings after Hamels went just five. Durbin, Bastardo and Madson were all pretty impressive, with the possible exception of the two hits that Madson gave up in the ninth. It ended well, though. Baez couldn’t make it through his inning. Durbin threw 36 pitches and is surely unavailable today. Madson 13, Baez six and Bastardo one. Nice to see Madson keep the number of pitches he threw down despite having to get four outs.
The Phillies lineup against righty Jason Marquis went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Victorino (8) Ruiz. That’s the same lineup they used against lefty John Lannan on opening day.
Rollins led off the game with a walk. Polanco followed and was hit by a pitch. Utley singled to right and the bases were loaded. Marquis got Howard to hit into a double-play, with Rollins scoring from third to put the Phils up 1-0. With two down and Polanco on third, Werth drew a walk. Marquis uncorked a wild pitch with Ibanez at the plate, scoring Polanco to make it 2-0 with Werth on second. Ibanez would walk, putting two men on for Victorino, but Victorino grounded to second to set the Phillies down.
The walk by J-Roll gets the Phils rolling.
Rollins doubled to left with two outs in the second, but Polanco lined to short to leave him stranded.
Marquis set Utley, Howard and Werth down in order in the third.
The game was tied at 2-2 when the Phils hit in the fourth. Ibanez grounded out for the first out, but Victorino reached on an infield single and Ruiz dumped a single into left. Hamels delivered a solid single up the middle and into center, scoring Victorino to put the Phils up 3-2 with one out and men on first and third. Rollins hit into a double-play to end the rally.
The fifth started with the game tied again, now at 3-3. Polanco led off with a double. Utley was next and he hit a ball into the outfield behind short. Willingham charged and tried to field on one hop, but the ball went off his glove, which allowed Polanco to score easily and make it 4-3. Howard was next and he blasted a 1-0 pitch out to center for his second home run in two games. 6-3. That was it for Marquis. Former Phil Tyler Walker came in and got Ibanez and Victorino to end the frame.
Walker was back for the sixth and set the Phils down in order. Gload hit for Hamels with one out, fouling out to third.
Polanco led off the seventh with lefty Jesse English on the mound for the Nats. He hit it hard, back up the middle and off the body of English for a single. Utley was next and he walked on five pitches. Howard lined a 3-1 pitch into center, but Morgan took it for the first out. Righty Tyler Clippard came in to pitch to Werth and walked him to load the bases. Ibanez got to hit against the righty and he flew to right for the second out. The ball wasn’t hit very deep, but Polanco tagged and scored to put the Phils up 7-3 with two outs and men on first and third. Victorino flew to center for the third out.
Ruiz singled to right off of Clippard to start the eighth. Dobbs followed, pinch-hitting for Durbin, and popped to the Nats new right fielder Cristian Guzman for the first out. Rollins walked again, taking a high 3-2 pitch to put men on first and second for Polanco. Polanco chopped a ball back to the mound into a double-play to turn the Phillies away.
With Matt Capps on the mound for Washington, Utley reached on an error by Desmond to start the ninth. Howard was next and he pounded a double to center, scoring Utley to put the Phils up 8-4. Werth flew to center deep enough to move Howard to third with one out, but Ibanez flew to left for the second and Howard had to hold third. Victorino drew a walk and Ruiz was walked intentionally to load the bases because the Nats knew that the closer Madson would hit for himself. Madson did and struck out to end the frame.
Ibanez can’t bring the runner in from third with one out. Manual bringing in Madson with two outs in the eight means that Washington can put Ruiz on and Madson will hit for himself.
Rollins was 1-for-3 with a double and two more walks. Four walks in the first two games for Rollins.
Polanco is a monster. 2-for-3 with a double last night and three runs scored.
Utley was 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.
Howard was 2-for-5 with a double, a home run and three RBI. He made an error that helped the Nats score an unearned run charged to Hamels.
Werth 0-for-3 and walked twice.
Ibanez 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.
Victorino was 1-for-4 with a walk.
Ruiz 2-for-4 with a walk.
Figueroa should be added to the roster today and may take Carpenter’s spot.
Kyle Kendrick makes his first start of the season this afternoon against righty Craig Stammen. Stammen made the Nats with the help of a strong spring training performance in which he threw to a 3.72 ERA and a 1.14 ratio over 19 2/3 innings. He had a 5.11 ERA for Washington in 19 starts in 2009. He has never faced the Phillies.