The joyous celebration of Opening Day turned sour rather quickly for Cole Hamels and the Phillies in Hot-lanta. The team that led the National League in home runs in the spring continued their long ball crusade with 3 HR's in Monday Night's opener at Turner Field.
Hamels (0-1) struggled in his first opening day start. He gave up five runs on seven hits, including the three homers, with five strikeouts and one walk in five innings. The three homers allowed matched his high from last season.
Braves Opening Day starter Tim Hudson cruised to an early 4-0 lead until Chase "The Man" Utley started off the scoring for the Phils with a mammoth homerun to dead center in the fourth. Utley was the biggest bright spot for the Phillies with a home run, 2 run single in the 5th, and added a triple in the 7th. Utley was 3-5 on the day with 3 RBI's and 8 total bases.
Phillies new leadoff hitter Ben Revere went 1-4 with a run scored, a walk and a stolen base. Jimmy Rollins with his new role in the 2-hole went 1-5 on the night.
Game Preview: Roy Halladay vs Paul Maholm WEd (7:10)
Roy "Doc" Halladay (R)
2012 vs Atlanta: 4 starts (0-2) 11.21 ERA
Paul Maholm (L)
Career vs Philadelphia: 9 starts (4-2) 5.16 ERA
The Phillies look to even the series Wednesday in Game 2 of the Opening Series vs. Atlanta. The Phils biggest question mark heading into the season, Roy Halladay, takes the mound vs. Braves lefty Paul Maholm. Halladay struggled this spring going 2-1 with a 6.06 ERA in 16.1 innings pitched in Grapefruit League action. Leaving many phans wondering if Doc can still be Doc. In his final spring tuneup Doc allowed 2 runs on 8 hits over 4 1/3 innings.
"Physically, it's night and day, last year compared to this year, which was the goal," Halladay said after his final spring start. "Physically, this is almost as good as I've felt in five years, as far as my total body. I'm just a tick behind where I want to be."
The 30-year old Maholm was traded to the Braves in 2012 from the Cubs and finished the year 4-5 with a 3.54 ERA. Maholm was dominate this spring posting a 4-1 record with a 1.53 ERA over 29.1 innnings and 20 strikeouts.
Look for the Phillies lineup to stay the same vs. the Braves lefty on Wednesday night. Despite the loss the Phillies did generate 5 runs, mostly on the bat of Chase Utley. Ben Revere got on base, stole a base and scored a run from the leadoff spot. There is no telling how long Charlie will keep Revere at the top of the order. It is far from concrete at this point.
"I decided that I would put Ben there and try it a while," Manuel said before yesterday's game. "I have more options with my lineup this year than I had last year. We'll see how long I give it. It could be a week, two weeks, a month, I don’t know. I come to the ball park to win."