Jose Fernandez looms, other morning Phillies tidbits

A few tidbits on this Belated Home Opener Morning. . .

1) Since their 14-10 victory over the Rangers on Opening Day, the Phillies are hitting .249/.319/.353 with four home runs, 16 walks, 45 strikeouts and 10 extra base hits in 193 plate appearances. They scored 14 runs on Opening Day, and have scored 17 runs since.

2) Chase Utley finished spring training with just three extra base hits in 62 plate appearances. In his first 28 plate appearances of the regular season, he has five extra base hits, including a pair of home runs during last weekend's series at Wrigley Field.

3) Domonic Brown has hit safely in all five of his starts (.381 on the season) and has two walks against three strikeouts in 21 plate appearances. Brown walked just 39 times last season, memorably going the entire month of way without drawing one (he also hit 12 home runs with a .991 OPS during that month).

4) If you are looking for a reason to go to a Phillies game early this season, circle Friday on your calendar: 70 degree weather and Jose Fernandez on the mound. Fernandez, clearly energized by his preseason selection as High Cheese's NL Cy Young Award winner, already has 17 strikeouts and two walks in 12 2/3 innings. He's allowed just one run, and the Marlins are 2-0 in his starts. The Phillies had the misfortune of facing him three times last season, though they did manage to score a run in their 18 innings against him. They also struck out 16 times, walked four times, and managed eight hits.



Today (4:05) - RHP Kyle Kendrick vs. RHP Kyle Lohse

Lohse had a strong debut, holding the Braves to three runs in seven innings of a 5-2 loss. He struck out eight and walked two and allowed a couple of home runs. The Phillies faced him once last year and managed just one run in eight innings with six strikeouts and one walk of a 9-1 loss to the Brewers last June 9. Kendrick, meanwhile, held the Rangers to one run with four strikeouts and one walk in seven innings in Arlington in his 2014 debut. He faced the Brewers last June 8, allowing three runs with six strikeouts and one walk in six innings of a 4-3 loss.

Wednesday (7:05) - RHP Matt Garza vs. RHP Roberto Heranndez

Thursday (7:05) - RHP Marco Estrada vs. LHP Cliff Lee

Friday (7:05) - RHP A.J. Burnett vs. RHP Jose Fernandez (!)

Saturday (7:05) - TBA vs. RHP Nate Eovaldi

Sunday (1:35) - RHP Kyle Kendrick vs. RHP Henderson Alvarez

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