The Philadelphia Phillies Offense Answers Tough Questions Early in the Season

Jenn ZambriCorrespondent IApril 3, 2011

BRADENTON, FL - MARCH 12:  Outfielder Raul Ibanez #29 of the Philadelphia Phillies bats against the Pittsburgh Pirates during a Grapefruit League Spring Training Game at McKechnie Field on March 12, 2011 in Bradenton, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

Having assembled this amazing pitching staff with Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton, the only remaining question for the Phillies is whether or not they could they muster any offense. The simple answer is yes.

After the unbelievable Opening Day ninth-inning comeback rally on Friday, the Phils offense picked up on Saturday where they left off.

The Phillies got off to a quick start with two runs in the first inning. Between the fourth and fifth innings, they scored five more runs. The highlights were a Raul Ibanez double, a two-run Shane Victorino bloop single and a Ben Francisco double, just to name a few.

The real encouraging factor was not just the runs, but the way they scored the runs.  It was a combination of good base running, patience at the plate, small ball and timely hitting. This is the Phillies' offense everyone has been waiting to see.

Of course, we all loved the home run days and there will still be some of those. But in the past, the Phillies offense really seemed to rely on the big hits with little to no focus on manufacturing runs. With Chase Utley hurt and Jayson Werth gone, the big concern going into 2011 was the lack of power on a team that has issues playing small ball.

And while two games is a very small sample size, it does look like the offense has finally figured out how to go one base at a time to score runs. With the incredible pitching they have, if the offense can keep up this pace and be consistent, the 2011 Phillies will be a very scary team.