Well There Goes the Undefeated Season; Phils Lose to Rangers 3-2

             1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 – R H E
Phillies 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 – 2 8 0
Rangers 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 – 3 14 1
W – Joakim Soria (1-0); L – Mario Hollands (0-1)

And there’s the Phillies bullpen we were all thinking it would be. 2.1 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 3 ER. That’s a extra run compared to the two the pen let up yesterday over four innings. A silver lining to this would be Antonio Bastardo’s excellent pitching in his first two appearances, he’s looking more like the Bastardo of 2012 rather than the pitcher we saw in 2013. Ultimately, the decision to bring in Mario Hollands for his MLB debut won’t haunt the Phils going forward, in fact it should help more than it does hurt. Sure Hollands will wish his big league debut didn’t result in his first loss, but the fact that Ryno turned to him in a crucial situation has to give him a confidence boost.

The Bomb that Byrd hit in Monday's game. (courtesy of phillymag.com)

The Bomb that Byrd hit in Monday’s game. (courtesy of phillymag.com)

The big positive take through the first two games is the veteran leadership at the plate. Rollins, Ultey, and Howard are batting .200, .400, and .333 with 5, 0, and 1 RBI through these first two games. Marlon Byrd (above) is leading the team batting .444 with a home run. I realize that it’s only through two games and they all combined for 5 K’s tonight, but watching Jimmy and Ryan’s plate appearances makes me really excited for their potential this year. Jimmy Rollins is working the count and not swinging at every first pitch while Ryan Howard is actually looking at pitches. The fact that Howard’s first plate appearance this year was a walk is astonishing to me.

Tonight featured the first instant replay challenge in a regular season game for both the Phillies and Rangers. The play came in the sixth inning when Ben Revere was called safe at second base after a pick-off attempt and the challenge overturned the call. The batter, Marlon Byrd, singled to shallow center moving Jimmy Rollins to second. Rollins would scored on next play when Ryan Howard doubled to right field. While that presumed third run could have made the difference tonight, I’m happier that they got the call right. Instant replay was long overdue in Major League Baseball.

This interleague series wraps up tomorrow night at 8pm with Kyle Kendrick taking the mound for the Phillies and Robbie Ross pitching for Texas. All of us here in the Philadelphia area can watch the game on the Comcast Network (not CSN Philly) while everyone else can watch the game on ESPN’s Wednesday Night Baseball.


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