In Like a Jam, Out Like a Lyon for the Philadelphia Phillies in Their Season Opener Comeback

The Philadelphia Phillies made a comeback from behind against the Houston Astros and got the win with the score of 5-4.  The comeback rally began with Phillies Placido Polanco’s walk off of Brett Myers in the bottom of the 7th inning.  Ryan Howard hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring in Benjamin Francisco and move Jimmy Rollins to second.  Then Raul Ibanez grounded out at first and brought in Jimmy Rollins to bring the score to 4-2.  At that time, Philadelphia Phillies fans were biting their nails, fearing that they may have lost this game.

But miracles do happen in Citizens Bank Park on this gloomy Opening Day for the Phillies.  In the bottom of the 9th, with Brandon Lyon as Houston Astros closer, Ben Francisco singled to left center to bring in Jimmy Rollins to bring the score to 4-3.  Carlos Ruiz singled to the left field and now the bases were loaded with Ryan Howard in scoring position on third base and Ben Francisco on second.  This was it — now the Phillies batters don’t have get too greedy while on base with Wilson Valdez and John Mayberry Jr. in the wings.  Wilson Valdez singled to left and brought in Ryan Howard for the tie 4-4.  It was John Mayberry Jr.’s turn, and he blasted the ball to deep center to bring in Benjamin Francisco for the win 5-4.  Fantastic thriller of a game, and an even more fantastic win for Phillies fans!

Unfortunately, a few issues have revealed themselves early for the Philadelphia Phillies.  Roy Halladay was not on his game in this one.  Halladay pitched for six innings and threw 101 pitches, but he had 5 hits and a 1.50 ERA.  Compared to Astros starter Brett Myers who pitched for seven innings, Myers had 3 hits and a 1.29 ERA.  Then late in the game, both teams sought out their bullpen, and disasters compounded upon disasters for both their pitching staffs.  The Astros got the worse of it with Brandon Lyon who had a 81.00 ERA which won’t bode well for his baseball card trade value or his regular season statistics.  For the Phillies, however, Danys Baez got an undeserved win for this game.

The next game in this series begins tonight at 7 PM.  The starting pitchers will be Cliff Lee for the Philadelphia Phillies and Wandy Rodriguez for the Houston Astros.  Lee will make his triumphant return as a Philadelphia Phillies pitcher, and he should receive a triumphant applause from the Phillies fans throughout this game.  Comparably, Lee is the better of the two overall but not by much.  In their careers, Lee has a 3.85 ERA based on WHIP of 1.26 compared to Rodriguez who has 4.18 ERA based on WHIP of 1.31. This should make for another close game tonight.

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