The Philadelphia Phillies won their first game of the season, but it wasn’t pretty.
In their last game of a three-game series against the Washington Nationals, Philadelphia came through victorious in 10 innings.
Uncharacteristically, the Phillies were charged with four errors. More surprisingly, three of those errors were committed by three infielders known for their sparkling defense: Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Pedro Feliz.
Pitcher Jamie Moyer, who gave up five runs in the first inning, committed the fourth error. Moyer shimmied his way out of trouble in the second inning and ended the day with 3.2 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, and 3 SO.
First baseman Ryan Howard instilled some fear in me.
More than once, the big man failed to make plays. Granted, more than once, what he had to work with wasn't the most optimal of throws, but I wanted to see more effort from the former MVP.
The Phillies’ bats came to life in the sixth inning. The Phils sent 11 players to the plate and scored six runs—all on singles.
Philadelphia is not a ball club known for scoring on consecutive singles; they are known more for extra base hits.
In the bottom of the next inning, Adam Eaton entered the game and didn't lose the game for the Phils—maybe his new role should be pinch runner for Pat Burrell. On second thought, that wouldn't work because the reason he was so successful today was because he didn't have the opportunity to move.
The bullpen allowed one run in the eighth inning with the Nationals’ Cristian Guzman hitting a single to the left side of the infield, scoring Ronnie Belliard and tying the game.
Ideally, teams would like to see their bullpen shut the opposition down. The Phils and their fans would love to see that as well, but let's be realistic. Philadelphia's broadcasters echoed fans' sentiments when they handed out kudos to the bullpen for "just giving up one run."
Starting the bottom of the tenth, Rollins singles to Belliard. Center fielder Shane Victorino hit a sacrifice bunt and the reigning NL MVP, fully aware of the location of the infielders, sped 180 feet to third base.
With first and second open, pitcher Jesus Colume intentionally walks Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in order to face Jayson Werth—a logical decision.
Werth displayed a great eye and drew a four-pitch walk that scored the game-winning run in the tenth inning.
It was sloppy and pessimism-inducing, but it was a win.
The Philadelphia Phillies go on the road to face the Cincinnati Reds in a four-game series starting April 4th.