View from the press box: notes from Phillies season opening win

By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
March 31, 2014, 10:00 p.m.
@Philabaseball

The Phillies offensive output on Monday was a pleasant surprise, but what really stood out was how the lineup exercised patience at the plate.
Granted, Tanner Scheppers showed he's not ready to be a starter in the majors, but the Phillies struggled against pitchers with lesser pedigrees last year.

The bullets below are items I took away from today's contest:

  • Ryan Howard is still getting a feel for his legs. Watching him score from second on Cody Asche's double in the second was painful. It looked as if he just couldn't put the breaks on once he crossed the plate.
  • Patience at the plate equals runs on the board. The Phillies worked the count throughout the day, but especially during the second inning with all three walks in the inning eventually scoring. All told, the Phillies collected six walks on the afternoon - a number they reached just nine times all of last season.
  • Revere can be a valuable hitter at the top of the order. He may never hit a home run, but if he can put the ball in play like he did today (3-for-6) and remain healthy he can be a real threat. He also stole a base and made several nice plays in center.
  • Cliff Lee was terrible. There really is no other way to say it; Lee was awful. He kept the ball over the plate and was up in the strike zone. The eight runs he surrendered was a career high.  He looked fine mechanically, so I'm chalking it up to him simply having an off day. The last Phillies starter to surrender eight runs and still record a victory was Dick Ruthven in 1981. 
The chart below is courtesy of Fangraphs.com and charts win expectancy - it's an interesting way of looking at how momentum shifts during a baseball game.  














On deck: The Phillies and Rangers resume their three game set on Tuesday with A.J. Burnett scheduled to face Martin Perez.

- The Philadelphia Baseball Review is the top baseball news blog in Philadelphia, providing news coverage and analysis of the 2014 Phillies and baseball in the Philadelphia region.

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