Unusual choice. The Phils got crushed yesterday in a game most memorable for Jonathan Papelbon’s outing. Papelbon was charged with six runs over two-thirds of an inning and surrendered monster three-run home run to Miguel Cabrera.

The Tigers won the game 10-1. The Phillies have lost two of three so far and played to a tie in the other.

The Phils didn’t have an extra-base hit in the game. Howard was the offensive MVP of the contest, going 2-for-2 with a sac fly to plate the team’s lone run. Josh Fields, Galvis and Betancourt had the other three singles. Darin Ruf went 0-for-2 with a strikeout and is 0-for-8 so far. Inciarte walked in his only chance and has a 1.000 on-base percentage and an OPS of 2.000 after four plate appearances (1-for-1 with three walks). He’s been on base four more times than Ruf and has one at-bat.

There’s no way they could carry Inciarte to start the season, I hear you cry? Oh, there’s a way. 324 plate appearances for Michael Martinez over the last two years. Freddy Galvis, John Mayberry, Ty Wigginton and Placido Polanco all started on opening day in 2012 and the Phillies gave Juan Pierre 439 plate appearances for the season. Wilson Valdez got 663 plate appearances for the Phils in 2010 and 2011 combined.

So there’s a way. Just while we’re talking about it, Yuniesky Betancourt is 3-for-6 in the early going.

Things started out well enough on the pitching side. Lee and Cloyd threw the first four innings with each tossing a pair of scoreless frames.

Aumont was the other Phillie pitcher who was good in the game. He started the seventh with the Phils down 8-1 and set the Tigers down in order.

Papelbon getting hammered was the big surprise for the day. He started the fifth and faced nine hitters, getting two outs and allowing six runs on two walks, three singles and a pair of home runs. The three-run homer that Cabrera hit was the second Papelbon had allowed in the frame and came with one out and men on first and second. It went unusually far. Alfredo Simon bailed Papelbon out, facing one batter and getting a ground out to end the frame.

Stutes made his spring debut in the sixth and allowed a pair of runs. He walked the leadoff man, got the next two, but then allowed a walk and a two-run triple.

Valdes gave up a run on back-to-back doubles in the eighth, then returned for the ninth and allowed another run on a solo homer.

In yesterday’s game, left-handed pitchers threw seven of the nine innings for Detroit. In those seven innings, the Phillies scored a run on four singles and three walks. This article points out the problems the Phils might have with lefties this year. They didn’t have a lot of success against righties in yesterday’s game, either. Detroit righties threw two scoreless innings in which they allowed one single and struck out two.

Kendrick is expected to pitch this afternoon when the Phils face the Yankees.