Opening Night: Sixth inning

myers1Brett Myers is probably finished for the night considering he is set to bat second in the sixth inning. Still, his line won’t look too good though he certainly settled in after the second inning.

Myers line: 6 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 3 HR — 97 pitches

To end his night, Myers whiffed Derek Lowe with a 3-2 curve.

Yes, Lowe is fearsome.

Speaking of fearsome, rookie Jordan Schafer was given a two-out intentional walk. In getting that walk Schafer holds tight to the mantle of greatest hitter of all-time.

Meanwhile, Greg Dobbs got his first pinch-hit of the season (a fly out to the track in right) and the Phillies sent four hitters to the plate in the sixth. Call it a taught two-hitter for Lowe through six…

And call it a blogging night for me. It’s time to go do some writing about this epic, so check CSNPhilly.com after the game… or better yet, now.

Opening Night: Fifth inning

derek-loweMaybe Brett Myers has settled in? After all, he seems to be on a roll here after working out those early-inning jitters. Following Yunel Escobar’s third-inning double, Myers retired eight of nine before Chipper Jones belted a double.

He bounced back from that hit by whiffing Brian McCann for his fifth strikeout. However, Myers has not tossed a single perfect inning. The Braves have scratched out a hit in every frame so far.

Meanwhile, Derek Lowe appears to be loose as a goose. After Chipper Jones made a nice pick and throw to nail Jayson Werth in the fourth, the pitcher and third baseman were yucking it up near the mound. Call it just another game for the veteran righty.

Lowe also has been quite economical. Through five innings, he has thrown just 64 pitches (43 strikes) with three whiffs and a single.

Lowe is making it look easy.

Opening Night: Fourth inning

jordan_schafer1Here’s an idea for a rule change in baseball:

Give the managers a red flag like they do NFL coaches for instant replays. If there is a call the skipper would like to challenge, he simply throws the red flag and the umps head off to look at the video in order to iron it out.

But if the manager throws the flag and the ump was correct, the team loses a trip to the mound. Or, maybe more extreme, the team could lose a bench player or a relief pitcher.

Could work, right?

As far as the mound visit thing goes, it could be a serious reprimand for coaches like Joe Kerrigan of Pittsburgh. Ol’ Tastycake Joe loves going to the mound for a visit. The problem with that is most pitchers aren’t too jazzed about his visits.

Here’s a funny story:

During a spring training game against the Pirates in mid-March, Kerrigan went to the mound and one of the Phillies’ players was heckling the ex-Phillie coach by shouting to the opposing pitcher: “Don’t listen to him, you won’t learn bleep.”

True story.

Anyway, Myers faced four hitters in the fourth where he allowed a two-out single to that Jordan Schafer. So far in his big-league career, Schafer is 2-for-2 with a homer.

He also owns the greatest batting average of all-time.

In fact, Schafer has out-hit the Phillies through four innings. In the fourth the Phillies went in order again. That makes them 1-for-13 this year.

Opening Night: third inning

derek_loweOK, maybe Brett Myers is just getting his work in? That can be the only explanation considering the Braves are tee-ing off on him. In fact, little Yunel Escobar ripped one high off the wall in deep left-center for a double. Myers was lucky, too, because it came inches away from being the fourth homer of the game.

Then again, before his late June demotion to Triple-A last season Myers was leading the Majors in homers allowed by a wide margin.

But unlike his first two frames, Myers stayed away from trouble. After the double, the pitcher whiffed Chipper Jones, got Brian McCann to pop out and Garrett Anderson to ground out to end the frame unscathed.

Nevertheless, Charlie Manuel got J.A. Happ up in the ‘pen.

Meanwhile, Derek Lowe made it once through the Phillies lineup and finally got the first hit of the season. The honor goes to Carlos Ruiz whose ground-rule double inside the third-base bag.

So far the Phillies are 1-for-10 this year.

opening night: second inning

homersJust saw a guy having a conversation with a person even though he had his cell phone plastered to his ear. Very odd.

Also on the odd front was Myers’ first pitch of the second inning to Jeff Francoeur… that one turned into a souvenir and gave the Braves a 3-0 lead. An out later, rookie Jordan Shafer smacked one near the 409 sign in left-center.

For Shafer it was a pretty big hit in his first Major League plate appearance.

Yeah, that’s right… a home run in his first Major League plate appearance. Pretty good. Jermaine Dye was the last Brave to homer in his first AB. Mark Saccomanno of the Astros was the last big leaguer to homer in his first at-bat. He did it last Sept. 8.

Meanwhile, all the homers shoot my theory about Myers being relaxed right in the rear.

Derek Lowe has been relaxed — six up and six down for the new Brave. He also has a four-run lead.

Opening Night: First inning

myersIt’s kind of hard to believe that Brett Myers is making his third straight Opening Day start. After all, Myers pitched out of the bullpen just a handful of starts after his maiden Opening Day start.

Last year, of course, he still had his head in the ‘pen during the opener. In fact, the Phillies more or less admitted that Myers got the nod over Cole Hamels as a reward for being a good soldier in 2007.

This year Myers got the start because Hamels wasn’t ready to go. Because of that Myers might be more ready to pitch since he does not have the first-time jitters nor his mind wandering about being a closer.

Hell, he might just allow himself to go out and pitch this year. Pretty novel concept, huh?

Anyway, Myers pitched cautiously to cleanup hitter Brian McCann after Chipper Jones laced a two-out, two-strike single.

Apparently it wasn’t cautious enough because after falling behind in the count to McCann, Myers left a fastball up and it ended up in the second deck. Just like that Myers was in a 2-0 hole.

So much for our theories, huh?

Against Lowe, the Phillies went in order though Chase Utley gave the fans a start when he flied to the warning track in right.

On another note, Pat Gillick threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Jayson Stark, sitting to my immediate right, offered that the ex-GM probably warmed up in the ‘pen before delivering a solid strike across the plate to catcher Chris Coste.

I countered with Gillick was probably wondering how he was unable to get rid of Coste after all this time.

Opening Night: Fifth inning

image from fingerfood.typepad.com Maybe Brett Myers has settled in? After all, he seems to be on a roll here after working out those early-inning jitters. Following Yunel Escobar's third-inning double, Myers retired eight of nine before Chipper Jones belted a double.

He bounced back from that hit by whiffing Brian McCann for his fifth strikeout. However, Myers has not tossed a single perfect inning. The Braves have scratched out a hit in every frame so far.

Meanwhile, Derek Lowe appears to be loose as a goose. After Chipper Jones made a nice pick and throw to nail Jayson Werth in the fourth, the pitcher and third baseman were yucking it up near the mound. Call it just another game for the veteran righty.

Lowe also has been quite economical. Through five innings, he has thrown just 64 pitches (43 strikes) with three whiffs and a single.

Lowe is making it look easy.

Opening Night: Sixth inning

image from fingerfood.typepad.com Brett Myers is probably finished for the night considering he is set to bat second in the sixth inning. Still, his line won't look too good though he certainly settled in after the second inning.

Myers line: 6 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 3 HR — 97 pitches

To end his night, Myers whiffed Derek Lowe with a 3-2 curve.

Yes, Lowe is fearsome.

Speaking of fearsome, rookie Jordan Schafer was given a two-out intentional walk. In getting that walk Schafer holds tight to the mantle of greatest hitter of all-time.

Meanwhile, Greg Dobbs got his first pinch-hit of the season (a fly out to the track in right) and the Phillies sent four hitters to the plate in the sixth. Call it a taught two-hitter for Lowe through six…

And call it a blogging night for me. It's time to go do some writing about this epic, so check CSNPhilly.com after the game… or better yet, now.

Opening Night: First inning

image from fingerfood.typepad.com It's kind of hard to believe that Brett Myers is making his third straight Opening Day start. After all, Myers pitched out of the bullpen just a handful of starts after his maiden Opening Day start.

Last year, of course, he still had his head in the 'pen during the opener. In fact, the Phillies more or less admitted that Myers got the nod over Cole Hamels as a reward for being a good soldier in 2007.

This year Myers got the start because Hamels wasn't ready to go. Because of that Myers might be more ready to pitch since he does not have the first-time jitters nor his mind wandering about being a closer.

Hell, he might just allow himself to go out and pitch this year. Pretty novel concept, huh?

Anyway, Myers pitched cautiously to cleanup hitter Brian McCann after Chipper Jones laced a two-out, two-strike single.

Apparently it wasn't cautious enough because after falling behind in the count to McCann, Myers left a fastball up and it ended up in the second deck. Just like that Myers was in a 2-0 hole.

So much for our theories, huh?

Against Lowe, the Phillies went in order though Chase Utley gave the fans a start when he flied to the warning track in right.

On another note, Pat Gillick threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Jayson Stark, sitting to my immediate right, offered that the ex-GM probably warmed up in the 'pen before delivering a solid strike across the plate to catcher Chris Coste.

I countered with Gillick was probably wondering how he was unable to get rid of Coste after all this time.

opening night: second inning

image from fingerfood.typepad.com Just saw a guy having a conversation with a person even though he had his cell phone plastered to his ear. Very odd.

Also on the odd front was Myers' first pitch of the second inning to Jeff Francoeur… that one turned into a souvenir and gave the Braves a 3-0 lead. An out later, rookie Jordan Shafer smacked one near the 409 sign in left-center.

For Shafer it was a pretty big hit in his first Major League plate appearance.

Yeah, that's right… a home run in his first Major League plate appearance. Pretty good. Jermaine Dye was the last Brave to homer in his first AB. Mark Saccomanno of the Astros was the last big leaguer to homer in his first at-bat. He did it last Sept. 8.

Meanwhile, all the homers shoot my theory about Myers being relaxed right in the rear.

Derek Lowe has been relaxed — six up and six down for the new Brave. He also has a four-run lead.

Opening Night: third inning

image from fingerfood.typepad.com OK, maybe Brett Myers is just getting his work in? That can be the only explanation considering the Braves are tee-ing off on him. In fact, little Yunel Escobar ripped one high off the wall in deep left-center for a double. Myers was lucky, too, because it came inches away from being the fourth homer of the game.

Then again, before his late June demotion to Triple-A last season Myers was leading the Majors in homers allowed by a wide margin.

But unlike his first two frames, Myers stayed away from trouble. After the double, the pitcher whiffed Chipper Jones, got Brian McCann to pop out and Garrett Anderson to ground out to end the frame unscathed.

Nevertheless, Charlie Manuel got J.A. Happ up in the ‘pen.

Meanwhile, Derek Lowe made it once through the Phillies lineup and finally got the first hit of the season. The honor goes to Carlos Ruiz whose ground-rule double inside the third-base bag.

So far the Phillies are 1-for-10 this year.

Opening Night: Fourth inning

image from fingerfood.typepad.com Here's an idea for a rule change in baseball:

Give the managers a red flag like they do NFL coaches for instant replays. If there is a call the skipper would like to challenge, he simply throws the red flag and the umps head off to look at the video in order to iron it out.

But if the manager throws the flag and the ump was correct, the team loses a trip to the mound. Or, maybe more extreme, the team could lose a bench player or a relief pitcher.

Could work, right?

As far as the mound visit thing goes, it could be a serious reprimand for coaches like Joe Kerrigan of Pittsburgh. Ol' Tastycake Joe loves going to the mound for a visit. The problem with that is most pitchers aren't too jazzed about his visits.

Here's a funny story:

During a spring training game against the Pirates in mid-March, Kerrigan went to the mound and one of the Phillies' players was heckling the ex-Phillie coach by shouting to the opposing pitcher: "Don't listen to him, you won't learn bleep."

True story.

Anyway, Myers faced four hitters in the fourth where he allowed a two-out single to that Jordan Schafer. So far in his big-league career, Schafer is 2-for-2 with a homer.

He also owns the greatest batting average of all-time.

In fact, Schafer has out-hit the Phillies through four innings. In the fourth the Phillies went in order again. That makes them 1-for-13 this year.

Opening night: pre-game

Rays Phillies BaseballInteresting scene here at the ballpark on Opening Night. The team entered through Ashburn Alley and passed a tunnel of fans as they do every opener, however, there was a slight difference. Charlie Manuel remained on Ashburn Alley where he raised the 2008 championship flag.

Needless to say, the crowd was really into it.

They also showed a video montage of last year’s highlights. Matt Stairs homer in the NLCS, Joe Blanton’s homer in Game 3 of the World Series, and the final pitch of the World Series drew the loudest cheers.

The boos? Chipper Jones… who else? Though I’m not quite sure where the animosity toward Chipper comes from.

Either way, Derek Lowe also was booed really loud, too, which was also perplexing.

Maybe sometimes they boo just to boo.

Big cheers? Stairs, Cole Hamels, Brad Lidge, Davey Lopes, Charlie and, of course, the starters.

Anthem time.

Opening night: pre-game

image from fingerfood.typepad.com Interesting scene here at the ballpark on Opening Night. The team entered through Ashburn Alley and passed a tunnel of fans as they do every opener, however, there was a slight difference. Charlie Manuel remained on Ashburn Alley where he raised the 2008 championship flag.

Needless to say, the crowd was really into it.

They also showed a video montage of last year's highlights. Matt Stairs homer in the NLCS, Joe Blanton's homer in Game 3 of the World Series, and the final pitch of the World Series drew the loudest cheers.

The boos? Chipper Jones… who else? Though I'm not quite sure where the animosity toward Chipper comes from.

Either way, Derek Lowe also was booed really loud, too, which was also perplexing.

Maybe sometimes they boo just to boo.

Big cheers? Stairs, Cole Hamels, Brad Lidge, Davey Lopes, Charlie and, of course, the starters.

Anthem time.