The first four games of 2010 have been very good for the Phillies bats. As a team, the have at least 10 hits in each game so far which is the first time that has been done by a Phillies team since 1926. The top 5 batters in the order are on fire, especially Placido Polanco who had 4 hits tonight, 2 RBI and is batting .579 in 4 games. Those 4 hits helped the Phillies to an 8-0 shut-out win over the Astros.
Jimmy Rollins is also off to a fast start with 7 hits in the first 4 games, batting .467. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are not far behind, batting .438 and .400, respectively. On Wednesday, Howard moved into 5th place on the Phillies all-time home run leaders list, passing Greg Luzinski. In today’s game, he racked up 2 hits and an RBI.
Raul Ibanez has struggled, but looks to be coming out of the funk with 3 hits and 3 RBI today. Shane Victorino, on the other hand, hit several balls really well but still came up empty; he even hit into a double play. Victorino is batting .111 so far this season.
JA Happ got his first start of the year today and pitched 5 scoreless innings. He had a lot of base runners, so his pitch count kept rising; as a result, he only made it to the start of the 6th inning. The thing that stands out about Happ though is that he never gets rattled. In the 3rd, he had 2 runners on with no outs and still managed to pitch his way out of the jam unscathed. Happ continues to impress.
David Herndon made his mark today as well, pitching 2 innings in relief of Happ without allowing a run. Today was his 3rd appearance with the Phils and so far, the rookie has yet to give up a run. If he keeps this up, the Phils are going to have some tough decisions to make when Brad Lidge and JC Romero return from the DL.
So things are feeling pretty loose around the Phillies this week; even the broadcasters are keeping the mood light. Gary Matthews and Tom McCarthy presented fellow broadcaster Chris Wheeler with a birthday cake and presents today during the game, even though it is not really his birthday. Wheels got his own birthday wrong in his new book, “A View From The Booth,” on the very first page of the book. He wrote April 9th instead of August 9th. Oops. So, Happy Un-Birthday, Wheels! Don’t feel bad…we are all entitled to typos once and a while ;o)
Game two in Houston tomorrow! First pitch is at 7:05pm.
Photos by Jenn