In Defense of a Title: Game One
Last night was a night of promise and intrigue. The 2008 World Champion Phillies opened up at home and against the re-stocked Atlanta Braves. Derek Lowe, the Braves new ace, set out to the mound against head-case Brett Myers.
The game started off well as Myers successfully retired two consecutive batters to start the game. Then Chipper Jones singled to left and Brian McCann hit the second deck in the Bank. 2-0 Atlanta after one.
In the second inning, Brett Myers brought his gas can to the mound and proceded to make the fire larger. A line-drive homer to left to lead the inning off. Then on his first major league swing in his first major league at-bat, Jordan Schafer went yard over the high fence just left of center. 4-0 Atlanta after two.
In the third, Myers did his best to give up another run by allowing a smash off the high fence off of the bat of Yunel Escobar. Then he retired the side in order. In the fifth, Chipper Jones hit a ground rule double to right-center and that was the end of the hit brigade by the Braves.
Myers left the game after six full innings and never had a 1-2-3 inning.
Meanwhile, the Phillies bats stayed home yesterday against sinker-baller Derek Lowe. Lowe gave up his first hit in the third to Carlos Ruiz and the next hit didn't come until the sixth with a Jimmy Rollins single.
The Phillies only had hits in innings divisible by three and they scored their lone run in the ninth inning, with Jayson Werth knocking in Jason Bruntlett.
The Phils still had life until Ryan Howard preceded to swing at two balls in the dirt and watched a belt high fastball to strike out looking.
The Bright Spot: The bullpen pitched well in relief of Myers. Taschner had a 1-2-3 inning, Eyre got both batters he faced out, Durbin retired his lone batter, and Lidge pitched lights out in the ninth.
The Dark Spot: Pat Burrell's replacement Raul Ibanez had a great showing. 0-3 with three ground outs to short. He didn't even get the ball out of the infield. Way to make me yearn for the days of Pat "The Bat."