All jokes aside, Papelbon looked like a completely different pitcher tonight than he did on Opening Day. I was really excited to write about all the positives (minus the fielding) from this game, but nope. Honestly, Papelbon tonight was in the same style as Brad Lidge in 2009.
Nonetheless, the positives to take away from Wednesday’s 4-3 loss to the Rangers:
-Kyle Kendrick’s pitching: 7 innings, 1 ER, 5 hits, 1 walk, and 4 strikeouts. Kyle certainly wants to make up for his shortcomings, last year’s second half, for starters.
-I’m pretty happy to see Mario Hollands get a second chance and come back strong with a 1-2-3 eighth inning.
-We were all waiting for it: Ryan Howard’s first home run of the season! And it came off of a lefty. As I said yesterday, his approach to each plate appearance has changed for the better and hopefully he keeps this going. I realize he struck out twice tonight but Rome wasn’t built in a day.
So the Phillies lose their opening series to the Rangers two games to one. The team has an off day tomorrow to travel to Chicago as they’ll take on the Cubs for the opening series of the 100th year at Wrigley Field beginning Friday. I’ll have a preview of this weekend series as we get closer to the first pitch.