PHILLIES ZONE LIVE: THE HOME OPENER, A.K.A. GAME 4
Here we are back at Citizens Bank Park and it's time for another in-game blog from your friends at the Philadelphia Inquirer.
What we've seen from the offense so far
More analysis after the game.
The first time Jim Thome played in a home opener in Philadelphia, the sellout crowd at Veterans Stadium went crazy when the first baseman was introduced before the game. They went even crazier when he led off the second inning with a triple.
That was 2003 and Thome holds it as a cherised and vivid memory.
"It was off Jeff Suppan and the Pirates," Thome said. "It was very exciting. That whole year was something special. I'm really glad I got to play in the Vet and experience that. Obviously the transition into the new ballpark was fabulous."
For the record, the Phillies didn't have much offense that day either. They scored just once in a 9-1 loss to the Pirates. They have two hits through xxxx innings in this one.
Thome did not start the home opener Monday and the reception for the future Hall of Famer was loud, but nothing close to the one he received in 2003.
Even though Cole Hamels surrendered a first-inning run, he still managed to show why he is one of the best pitchers in baseball and worthy of that huge contract that he's going to receive from the Phillies or some other team.
After speedsters Jose Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio opened the game with consecutive singles and executed a double steal, Hamels found himself in a second-and-third jam with nobody out to open the game.
The 28-year-old lefty calmly went to work with his arsenal of weapons. First he used a cut fastball to retire Hanley Ramirez on a weak ground ball to second baseman Freddy Galvis. Reyes scored and Bonifacio advanced to third, leaving Hamels still in danger of surrendering a second-inning run.
But Hamels minimized the damage with strikeouts of the Marlins' fourth and fifth hitters, Gaby Sanchez and Austin Kearns. He got Sanchez with a combination of changeups and cut fastballs, then abused Kearns with a couple of changeups to end the inning.
Aces almost always get strikeouts when they need them.