Saturday, July 4, 2009

Lopez, Phils' bats take game one from NY

Last night's win over the Mets was a big one, no doubt about it. The Phils jumped on Livan Hernandez early and never looked back with a great debut on the hill from Rodrigo Lopez.

Wheels made an excellent point during the game; Hernandez is the type of solid veteran pitcher that can very easily find a groove and settle into a game. Getting on his early is huge, and the Phillies did just that, putting a seven spot in the board in the first three innings.

Rollins looked good at the plate for the second straight night. Whether or not standing closer to the plate is actually helping him, everyone knows his bat is crucial in the lineup and a J-Roll hot streak may propel the Phils into a hot streak.

Now to Lopez. Was he really that good, or are the Mets just that bad? Obviously time will tell, but he looked good last night. He threw strikes and didn't get hit all that hard. If he really was that good, just where exactly did it come from? Lopez is a veteran and had some strong years in Baltimore, but fell off in 2006, his last year with the Orioles. His ERA ballooned up to nearly six, and after a short 2007 with Colorado, Lopez disappeared from the Majors.

He's not exactly the fix the Phillies, or their fans had in mind, but Lopez could bring a certain dynamic to this team. Another veteran presence never hurts, and he appeared to have plenty left in the tank last night. His next start will certainly be something to keep an eye on, and should help in gauging last night's performance.

That really was big last night, as a loss would have put the team into a real up-hill battle for the rest of the series. Jamie Moyer goes today against Fernando Nieve, New York's talented young gun. Moyer has been pretty awful lately and he just hasn't been keeping the team in games. Johan Santana follows in the series finale tomorrow against Joe Blanton. A bounce back start from Moyer today would be huge. Facing Santana in hopes of sweeping the series is a major difference compared to trying to beat him to win the series.

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