The 2013 season started for the Phillies last night and it didn’t start well. Cole Hamels made his first Opening Day start and came up with a klunker, allowing three home runs as the Braves scored five runs charged to him in five innings.
Michael Young didn’t play very well at third and Chad Durbin’s first outing of the year was a dud. Durbin faced three hitters and all three reached base as he was charged with two runs without getting an out.
What did go well was the offense, which plated five runs, and especially Chase Utley. Utley was fantastic at the plate, going 3-for-5 with three RBI. He homered off of righty Tim Hudson in the fourth and tripled off of lefty Eric O’ Flaherty in the seventh.
The Phillies are 0-1 on the season after losing to the Braves 7-5 last night.
Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and a walk. Five of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and three home runs. He struck out five.
He walked Jason Heyward with one out in the bottom of the first. Justin Upton was next and Hamels struck him out swinging 3-2, but Freddie Freeman followed and blasted a 2-1 pitch out to right, putting Atlanta up 2-0. BJ Upton went down on a ball hit hard back to Hamels to end the inning.
The lefty Freeman had some success against Hamels in the game.
Dan Uggla led off the bottom of the second. Uggla got ahead 3-0 and then hit the fourth pitch of his at-bat out to left. 3-0. Hamels got the next three.
Two of the first six batters that Hamels faces on the year homer. Uggla’s was the only one of the three long balls that Hamels actually turned to look at to see if it would leave the yard. On the other two he just hung his head on the mound when the pitch was hit.
Andrelton Simmons doubled to left to start the third. Hamels got the next two hitters before Freeman lined a single to right, scoring Simmons to put Atlanta up 4-0. Upton flew to center for the third out.
Again the lefty Freeman gets the lefty Hamels. Three RBI in two at-bats for Freeman for the season at that point.
Chris Johnson singled with one out in the fourth and the Atlanta lead cut to 4-1. It brought Gerald Laird to the plate and Laird hit a ball hard down the third base line and off the glove of a diving Young. The ball rolled into foul territory and Young chased — Johnson wound up on third and Laird was at second with a double. The pitcher Tim Hudson was next and grounded to Rollins with the runners holding for the second out. Simmons was next and grounded to third to end the inning.
Generous of the home town scorer to call Laird’s ball on the misplay by Young a double. Hamels puts up his first zero of the year after Atlanta scores in each of the first three innings. The Phils get lucky that it’s the pitcher coming to the plate with one out and men on second and third after the Laird double.
The Atlanta lead was cut to 4-3 when Hamels started the fifth. He got Heyward on a fly ball to right before Justin Upton hit a 1-2 pitch out to left center. Hamels got ahead of him 0-2, but Upton just crushed his 1-2 offering to make it 5-3. Hamels got the next two to set the Braves down.
Third homer of the game for Atlanta. Two to righties (Uggla and Justin Upton) and the other to the lefty Freeman.
Durbin started the sixth for the Phillies and walked the leadoff man Uggla on six pitches. Johnson was next and doubled into left on the first pitch of his at-bat, sending Uggla to third. It brought Laird to the plate with nobody out and men on second and third. He was swinging at the first pitch as well and blooped a single into left-center. Brown charged and mishandled the ball, but Revere was right there to pick it up and get it into the infield. Uggla scored on the play to make it 6-3 with one out and runners on the corners. Lefty Juan Francisco hit for the pitcher Luis Avilan and Horst came in to pitch to him. Righty Reed Johnson hit for Francisco and hit a ball back up the middle, off the edge of Horst’s glove to Rollins. Rollins went to second for the first out and Utley relayed to first for the second. As the throw went to first to complete the double-play, Johnson came home from third. Howard took the throw at first and threw home, but his throw was not handled and Johnson would have been safe anyway. 7-3. Simmons popped out to first to end the inning.
Much confusion about whether or not Manual made an error around bringing in Horst before the lefty Juan Francisco was announced as the pinch-hitter or not. Francisco was definitely in the on-deck circle when Horst came in, but announcers on the TV broadcast indicated the he had not been announced and therefore the righty Reed Johnson was hitting for the pitcher Avilan and not the left-handed pinch-hitter Francisco. The box score on the MLB.com web site shows that Francisco actually hit for Avilan. I don’t know. Either way, Horst faced the righty Reed Johnson and got him to hit into a double-play.
Not a good start for Durbin. He faces three batters in the game, allowing a walk, a single and a double without getting an out. Durbin pitched for the Braves last year, which makes it a little more interesting that both Johnson and Laird were swinging first pitch on their hits.
Nice job by Revere to be right on the ball and prevent Johnson from scoring when Brown mishandled the bloop by Laird. Didn’t wind up mattering as Johnson scored on the double-play, but it was a nice play.
Horst was back for the seventh. Freeman blooped a single to left with two outs, but Horst struck out BJ Upton to leave Freeman at first.
Freeman’s bloop was a little odd. It stayed in the air for a long, long time and Brown wasn’t close to getting there. Looked like he was playing really deep in left given the left-handedness of the hitter.
Horst goes two scoreless innings in the game, striking out two and allowing a bloop single on a ball that might have been handled.
Aumont pitched the eighth. He walked Johnson with one out. Laird was next and hit a ball hard to third. It probably would have been a double-play ball if Young had handled it cleanly. He didn’t, but picked it up and threw to first. The throw was in the dirt, but Howard did a nice job to scoop it for the second out as Johnson moved up to second. Switch-hitter Ramiro Pena hit for the pitcher Jordan Walden and grounded to first to end the inning.
Aumont goes one scoreless inning in the game, striking out one and allowing a walk. Last year he walked nine for the Phillies in 14 2/3 innings and walked 34 in 44 1/3 innings in the minors. That’s too many walks. The Phillies should have turned a double-play on the ball hit by Laird.
Overall the pen goes three innings in the game, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out three. Horst pitched great. Durbin did not. Aumont threw a scoreless innings but needs to walk fewer hitters. Horst threw 17 pitches, Aumont 14 and Durbin eight. All three seem likely to be available for game two of the set given the off-day today.
The Phillies lineup against righty Tim Hudson went (1) Revere (2) Rollins (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) M Young (6) Brown (7) Mayberry (8) Kratz. Two of the nine players the Phillies start were also in the lineup for game one in 2012 (Rollins and Mayberry). Kratz starts behind the plate with Ruiz suspended. Brown in left with the righty Mayberry in right and the lefty Nix on the bench. Mayberry comes into the game with good numbers against Hudson — 4-for-13 with two home runs. Revere leads off against the righty with Rollins hitting second. One of the things that does is prevents three lefties two through four in the lineup from Revere to Howard (if Revere were hitting second). Revere and Michael Young make their Phillie debuts. Erik Kratz enters the game with zero career plate appearances in April and seven career plate appearances in March, April, May or June.
The Phillies went in order in the first.
They were down 2-0 when they hit in the top of the second. Young walked with one out and moved up to second when Brown followed with a single to right. It put two men on for Mayberry and Mayberry grounded into a double-play to set the Phillies down.
Mayberry hits into a lot of double-plays. So far, this year is no exception.
Revere singled to left with two outs in the second and the Phils down 3-0. He stole second before Rollins grounded to second to leave him stranded.
The Phillies were trailing 4-0 when Utley started the fourth with a home run to center. 4-1. Howard grounded out to Uggla in shallow right field for the first out and Young struck out swinging for the second before Brown drew a walk. Mayberry struck out looking to leave Brown at first.
With one out in the fifth, the Phillies loaded the bases for Utley on singles by Hamels and Rollins and a walk to Revere. Utley singled to right, scoring Hamels and Revere to cut the lead to 4-3 and taking second as the throw came in to third. It put men on second and third with one down for Howard and lefty Luis Avilan came in to pitch to him. Avilan quickly got ahead of Howard 0-2 and struck him out swinging for the second out. The righty Young was walked intentionally to load the bases for Brown. Brown grounded to second to leave them loaded.
Second big hit for Utley in two innings after the homer in the fourth. Howard comes up empty in a big spot, striking out with one out and men on second and third. Intentionally walking Michael Young so your lefty can pitch to Domonic Brown in the fifth inning is a poor idea, but it worked out well for the Braves in this case. I don’t think that’s in the best interest of your team in the long run, however.
The Phils trailed 5-3 when they hit in the sixth. Mayberry and Kratz went down for the first two outs. With the lefty Avilan still on the mound for the Braves, Frandsen hit for Hamels and singled into center. Revere grounded to short to end the frame.
Avilan pitched well in the game for Atlanta, holding the Phils to a single (by the righty Frandsen) and an intentional walk (to the righty Young) over 1 2/3 innings.
Atlanta led 7-3 when lefty Eric O’ Flaherty started the seventh for the Braves. Utley tripled with one out and scored on a Howard ground out, cutting the lead to 7-4. Young grounded to third to set the Phillies down.
Utley triples off of the lefty after homering off the righty Hudson earlier in the game.
Mayberry doubled to left off of righty Jordan Walden with one out in the eighth. He took third on a wild pitch before scoring on a Kratz single to cut the lead to 7-5. Nix hit for Horst and Kratz took second on another wild pitch before Nix flew to left for the second out. Revere struck out swinging to leave Kratz stranded.
Righty Craig Kimbrel set Rollins, Utley and Howard down in order in the ninth.
Revere was 1-for-4 in the game with a walk and a stolen base. Made a nice defensive play to be in the area when Brown mishandled the single in the sixth.
Utley 3-for-5 with a triple, a home run and three RBI.
Howard 0-for-5 with an RBI. Struck out with one out and men on second and third at a big moment in the fifth.
Young didn’t look good defensively at third. He was 0-for-2 and walked twice (once intentionally).
Brown 1-for-3 with a walk. Less than outstanding in left. Mishandled one ball while charging but was backed-up nicely by Revere. Queerly was nowhere close to catching Freeman’s bloop single in the seventh.
Mayberry 1-for-4 with a strikeout and grounded into a double-play. He hit 229/291/335 against right-handed pitching in 2012. So it’s not a good sign if you’re starting him in one of your corner outfield positions against a righty on Opening Day.
Kratz 1-for-4 with an RBI.
The Phillies don’t play today. Game two of the season and the series is tomorrow night.