Phirst full week of the Phillies 2011 season is in the books. In the phirst 9 games, the Phightins' are 7-2. In the phirst 9 game, the Phab Phour, R2C2, Phantastic Phour, or whatever you want to call them plus Joe Blanton, have gone 5-2, with 49.1 innings pitched, 52 K's, and only 10 walks. Cole Hamels, Blanton, Cliff Lee have all had one bad outing, but resulted in only 2 losses. Hamels had a disastrous start to the 2011 against the Mutts, going 2.2 innings, giving up 7 hits and 6 runs, which resulted in an E.R.A. of 20.25. Hamels then redeemed himself today with a masterful outing against the Braves. Cole went 7 innings, giving up only 4 hits, 1 walk and had 8 strikeouts! Cole's incredible performance dropped his E.R.A down to 5.59.
The forgotten one, Blanton opened his season on Wednesday night against the Mutts. Big Joe, looked great to start the game, but quickly came unglued. The Phillies bats, the true story of the phirst week, gave Blanton a 7-0 lead, which was quickly erased in the 4th and 5th innings. Blanton only survived 4.1, allowing 7 runs (5 in the 5th) on 10 hits, but had 6 k's. Despite blowing a 7-0 lead, the Phightins' phought back and score 2 runs in the the bottom of the 5th giving the Phils the lead phor good. Cliff Lee followed his return home to Philadelphia with a game he would like to forget against the Braves. Lee only lasted 3.1, surrendering 6 runs on 10 hits, but only had 1 walk.
Despite all the hype around the Phillies Starting Rotation, the biggest concern for the Phillies was there offense. I love listening to MLB on XM, when I am not listening to Howard Stern (Baba Booey, Baba Booey) and enjoy calling in. There was a consistent theme to the weeks leading up to the start of the season in regards to the Phillies and that was could the offense score runs. In 2008, we won because of timely hitting. In 2009, we lost the World Series because we were out hit and the same holds true for 2010 NLCS. The bats were silent in both those series, resulting in no champagne to end the season. So the baseball pundits have every right to voice their concerns for the Phillies offense, especially when arguably their best player Chase Utley was hurt indefinitely.
Well, one week before the season started, this topic was once again the focus and they were looking for callers, so I called in. I started off by agreeing with them that the lost of Utley was a concern and pointed out the points I just stated about the past three postseasons, but followed with that the Phillies have enough heart and talent to hold them till Utley returns. I pointed out that in 2010, 6 of 8 starters spent time on the DL, including Utley and despite that, the Phillies led the league in wins for the first time in the history of the franchise. I ended my point by saying that the bats would finally bounce back and that Rollins would turn it around, as would Ibanez and that Ben Fransisco would make everyone forget the previous WERTHless rightfielder. I was praised for the call, but they joked about my comment about Big Ben, which was expected and the ended the segment with if the bats turn it around and if Utley gets back.
Which leads me to the phirst 9 games. The Phillies Achilles heal scored a messily 59 runs in the phirst 9 games. Going into today, the Phillies lead the league in runs scored over the Reds who are in second with 53 runsand have already scored 4 today (they are in the 2nd inning at the time of me writing) and Diamondbacks are 3rd with only 34 runs. Following today's game, 7 of the Phillies starting 8 are batting over .300, combined for team average of .334. They have 8 homeruns and if weren't for the wind at the Bank, Big Ben would have added 2 more and 58 RBI's. So it is safe to say, that through 9 games, the offense is alive and well. There are still 153 game to go and a lot can happen, but in the phirst 9 games, the Phightin Phils have given us much to cheer for and many reasons to BELIEVE! LET'S GO PHIGHTIN' PHILS!!!