The Phillies opened up the season with a win and an unexpected offensive explosion that was nowhere to be seen in spring training. The Phillies defeated the Texas Rangers in a 14-10 Opening Day slugfest. Even though the Phillies did not score in the last three spring training games it didn’t matter as the Phillies racked up 17 hits. Ben Revere went 3 for 6 with 3 RBIs, 2 runs scored, and 1 stolen base. Marlon Byrd hit a homer in the win over the Rangers. Rookie Cody Asche had the best game out of all the Phillies as he went 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs, 4 runs scored, and walked. Jimmy Rollins had a milestone game when he hit his 200th homer. J-Roll also became the 19th player in MLB history to hit 400 or more doubles, 100 or more triples, and 200 or more home runs in his career. Rollins tied Cal Ripken Jr. for most openers started by a shortstop with 14 consecutive openers. Cliff Lee picked up his first win but blew 6-0 lead and closer Jonathan Papelbon finished the game. Manager Ryne Sandberg was happy that J-Roll the milestone 200th homer “out of the way”.
The Phillies fell to the Texas Rangers 3-2 on Tuesday. A.J. Burnett allowed only one run in six innings of work in his Phillies debut. The Phillies lone two runs were scored in the sixth inning as Jimmy Rollins hit an RBI single and Ryan Howard hit an RBI double. Howard also hit 5th in the lineup which is uncommon as he hasn’t hit cleanup since June 2008. The bullpen did not hold up as he rookie Jake Diekman came in the 7th to protect the lead but failed at his task as he let up a single and a two out double by Adrian Beltre. Mario Hollands walked two batters which then led to B.J. Rosenberg gave up the walk-off single to Adrian Beltre. Cole Hamels had a sold rehab start as he pitched 3 innings, threw 44 pitches, gave up 2 hits, 1 run, walked 2 batters and struck out 3.
The Phillies fell to the Rangers 3-2 on Wednesday. Catcher Carlos Ruiz hit second in the lineup as he hit a single, a double, a walk, and scored 2 runs. Kyle Kendrick was solid as he went seven innings, gave up 1 run, 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4. Rookie Mario Hollands bounce back as he recorded a 1-2-3 8th inning after being a little shaky in his debut. Closer Jonathan Papelbon spoiled a win and his first save as he came into a 3-1 lead and blew it as he allowed 4 hits and 2 walks. The game winning run was on a walk by Rangers outfielder Shin Soo Choo.
The Phillies beat the Chicago Cubs 7-2 on Friday. Chase Utley and Domonic Brown led the way as Utley went 2 for 5 with a homer and 3 RBI and Brown went 3 for 5 with 2 RBI. Roberto Hernandez was solid in his Phillies debut as he went 5 1/3 innings while only giving up 3 hits and 2 earned runs. The Phils beat the Cubs again on Saturday 2-0. Chase Utley shined yet again in a Phillies game as he went 3 for 3 with 1 RBI and scored 2 runs. Ultey homered for the second game in a row. Cliff Lee got his second victory of the season as he was more like Cliff Lee in this won. Lee went 7 innings and gave up 10 hits with 6 strikeouts. Closer Jonathan Papelbon picked up his first save as he recorded a 1-2-3 ninth inning. The Phillies failed to get the sweep as they lost to the Cubs. Jimmy Rollins went 2 for 5 in the loss with an RBI. Dom Brown went 2 for 4 in the loss. Ryan Howard struggled as he went 0 for 5. A.J. Burnett also struggled in 5 2/3 innings as he gave up 5 hits, 8 runs but only 4 were earned runs, and walked a staggering 6 batters.
The Phillies cancelled their home opener against the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday due to expected rain. Cole Hamels is getting better as he pitched 4 innings and then threw many pitches in a rehab start in Class A Clearwater. Hamels allowed three hits, two runs, struck out four, and walked nobody. If Hamels stays on course he will make his final rehab start either April 21 or April 22.