I’m still not entirely sure that game just happened.
Prior to Wednesday’s game against the Braves, the Phillies offense had been completely transparent. Just one run to show in 18 innings’ worth of batting.
As David Murphy points out:
“Through the first 10 games last season, the Phillies hit .243/.330/.416, with 13 home runs and 42 runs scored. Through the first 10 games of 2007, they hit .244/.365/.387, with nine home runs and 45 runs scored.”
Not so great. Maybe getting some hardware would help.
Facing Javier Vazquez, a man prone to giving up home runs, the Phillies had a chance to break out of an early funk and avoid a season-opening sweep.
Well, the Phillies got a couple runs off of Vazquez, but the Atlanta bullpen is what handed the Phillies this game on a silver platter.
Giving up a combined 11 hits and walks in a manic seventh inning, the Braves pen allowed the Phillies to climb out of a 10-3 deficit and eventually take a 12-10 lead after eight.
That would hold up, despite a Matt Diaz homer off of Brad Lidge in the ninth, and the Phils are 1-2.
To get a feel for just what this game was like, have a look at the Fangraphs chart for this game:
The higher the line, the higher the Phillies’ probability of winning. The lower, the opposite.
That’s exactly the kind of game this was, and boy is it a great way to (hopefully) jump start the year.
Raul Ibanez homered, and the Phillies showed some uncharacteristic plate discipline in drawing 10 walks.
I guess you could say I’m glad I kept watching. Things like this are why you never, ever leave a ballgame early.
Clay Condrey (1-0) gets the win, Blaine Boyer (0-1) shoulders the entire pen’s burden with the loss. Cole Hamels makes his season debut Friday against Colorado.