Friday, April 8, 2011

Phils, Doc cruise to 11-0 victory over NY, ATL next

The Phillies are off to a tremendous start, wrapping up the opening homestand 5-1 with a 11-0 victory over the Mets yesterday.

To the surprise of many, it's the Phillies' bats that have done most of the talking this season. After dropping the opener on a dreary night on Tuesday, the Phillies jumped on Mets' starter Mike Pelfrey on Wednesday, taking an early 7-0 lead. But Joe Blanton really struggled in the fifth, allowing New York to come back and tie the game.

But like good teams do, the Phillies jumped right back on the board in the fifth and sixth innings, taking and securing a wild 10-7 victory.

With Roy Halladay on the mound for the rubber match yesterday, the Phillies gave him plenty of run support. After taking a 6-0 lead in the fourth, everyone got the sense that with Doc on the mound, six runs would be plenty. They were, but just for good measure, the Phillies rocked Mets' pitching for eleven runs. Raul Ibanez hit the game's only homer, his first of the year in the seventh inning. Placido Polanco drove in four runs, and Wilson Valdez knocked in three.

Meanwhile, Ryan Howard is off to quite possibly the best start of his career. He's among the league leaders in just about every offensive category with his .480 average, two home runs, eight RBI, three doubles, .500 OBP and .840 slugging percentage.

He's not the only bat off to a tremendous start. Ben Francisco is hitting .320 with two homers, Polanco is hitting .440, Jimmy Rollins is hitting .375 with two stolen bases, Ibanez is hitting .304, Valdez is hitting .429 and some backups like John Mayberry and Pete Orr are batting .600.

The Phils are set to open a big series with the Atlanta Braves, who just lost three out of four in Milwaukee after starting the season 3-1.

Cliff Lee gets the call tonight against Tim Hudson in Atlanta's home opener. Roy Oswalt will oppose Brandon Beachy tomorrow and Cole Hamels will look to get back on track against Derek Lowe in the finale.

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