Yesterday was a bright and sunny spring day, and this was an indication of how the Philadelphia Phillies did yesterday against the Houston Astros with their win of 7-3. The Phillies offense was lit up in this game, and it certainly helped Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Roy Oswalt. This was an accomplishment for the Phillies as this was their first opening series home sweep since 1970. Oswalt had a solid day as he pitched for six innings, 5 hits, a homerun and a 3.00 ERA for this game.
Houston Astros starter Bud Norris, however, was a bit erratic in his four innings as he ended the day on 6 hits, 2 homeruns and a 11.25 ERA. The Phillies offense lit it up in the first inning and set the pace for the rest of the game. Starting with Jimmy Rollins singled to right and Placido Polanco on his walk in the bottom of the first inning, Ryan Howard blasted the ball off of Bud Norris for a 3-run homerun. Soon after, Ben Francisco sealed the first inning with a solo homerun to bring the score to 4-0. Norris was pulled after four innings, but the scoring did not stop for the Phillies. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Shane Victorino singled to the right off of reliever Enerio Del Rosario to bring in Ben Francisco. Michael Martinez singled to the left afterwards and brought in Carlos Ruiz for a score of 7-2.
There were few issues apparent with the Philadelphia Phillies in this game. Roy Oswalt was sure and steady, like the other three aces in the Phillies starting rotation. Ryan Howard, unlike the past couple of seasons, was not overtly greedy on balls pitched to him. Additionally, Howard contributed significantly to this game on his 3 hits, 4 RBIs, a homerun and a .600 batting average. Ben Francisco, the other prominent contributor to this game, had 3 hits, single RBI, solo homerun and a .600 batting average. Without Chase Utley who is on the DL and Jayson Werth sent to the Washington Nationals, it appears that the Phillies offense was declared dead on arrival a bit too early. However, the season is still early, and the Phillies aren’t a few months into the regular season yet.
The next game will be against the New York Mets tomorrow at 7:05 PM. Starting pitcher for the Phillies will be Cole Hamels, and he will be against the Mets starter Chris Young. Comparably, in their careers, Cole Hamels had a 3.53 ERA on WHIP of 1.18, and Chris Young had 3.80 ERA on WHIP of 1.21. Hamels is slightly better than Young, but it should be noted that Hamels has been steadily and consistently getting better since 2006. Since 2006, Cole Hamels had an increased throughput of 76 more pitches, 145 to 211 strikeouts, a slightly better WHIP from 1.25 to 1.18 and a better ERA from 4.08 to 3.06.