One day after Roy Halladay’s dazzling opening day, Cliff Lee made his triumphant return to Philadelphia. The fans cheered relentlessly for Lee, as if they were welcoming back a beloved son. Lee pitched seven innings and seemed invincible while striking out 11 hitters. If Lee was Superman, then the Astros’ Carlos Lee was Bizarro, as he drove in all three runs off Lee. All four of the Astros’ runs were driven in by Lee. Despite the offensive performance of his counterpart, Superman ended up victorious.
The Phillies offense is alive and well. The 9-4 victory is encouraging not only because they scored nine runs, but also because they defeated a good pitcher in Wandy Rodriguez. The hitting display against Rodriguez is all the more encouraging when you consider the Phillies’ struggles against left-handed pitching the past few seasons. Placido Polanco, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Ben Francisco and Raul Ibanez all had multi-hit games tonight. The 2-6 hitters hit .478 (11/23). Ibanez was 2/3 with two walks and two RBIs.
Rollins had been plagued by injuries in the past two seasons; however, he is off to an encouraging start in 2011. After two games, Rollins is now hitting .444 (4/9) and has one stolen base.
Halladay’s high pitch count in his opening day start may be a blessing in disguise for the Phillies. Halladay and Lee are two pitchers who can be expected to consistently pitch between 7-9 innings. By not pitching complete games this early in the season, the bullpen is at least getting some work in before Halladay and Lee go on their consistent deep runs.
Sunday’s game features an interesting pitching matchup: Roy Oswalt vs. J.A. Happ. Happ was traded to the Astros last season in exchange for Oswalt. Although Oswalt is the more talented pitcher, look for Happ to be fueled by adrenaline in this matchup.
- After Halladay and Lee pitched, the “Phearsome Phoursome” are currently 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA
- After two games, the Phillies’ 1-4 hitters are hitting .387 (12/31)
- Of the Phillies’ 14 runs in two games, none of them were scored via home run
- Oswalt will pitch against his former team for the first time in his career Sunday