The first week of the season is in the books. Let's face it: It was kind of ugly. Sure the Phillies took two out of three from the New York Mets. But that bullpen is terrifying. In our first series preview - sorry I forgot to preview the second series; completely thought I'd done it - we said it would be important to see the who got what roles. Well, we know what role a lot of these guys should have: minor leaguer.
Meanwhile, the starters pitched well (a 2.97 ERA). The offense, which scored two or fewer runs in four of the six games, needs to get better.
Now the Padres come to town for the home opener. Winning a second straight series is going to be difficult with this squad, but setting the tone by squeaking one out could be good for the young guys on the team.
Monday, April 11: 3:05
Wednesday, April 12: 7:05
Thursday, April 13: 7:05
Andrew Cashner ( 0-1, 11.25) vs Aaron Nola (0-1, 1.29)
Robbie Erlin (1-0, 0.00) vs. Charlie Morton (0-1, 14.73)
Colin Rea (0-1, 12.460 vs Jerad Eickhof (0-1, 3.60)
What to know about the Padres
Matt Kemp is not taking any prisoners. Fella is hitting .360 with three home runs in the early going. The Padres rotation is supposed to be better than it has pitched, so don't be surprised if Andrew Cashner returns to the mean.
Ryan Howard versus the Padres pitching staff: Thanks to an injury to Tyson Ross, the Padres have one lefty in their bullpen. That means Howard might get to feast on Kevin Quackenbush or Brandon Mauerer. It's been awhile since the Big Piece has been a key to anything for the Phillies, but he seems to be swinging a warmer bat, posting an .888 OPS and already having launched a pair of jacks. He also happens to be a career .304 hitter against the Friers.
If he can hit well, it just might force the Pads - and some upcoming teams - to pitch to Maikel Franco.
And that's something we want to see.
What we can't wait to see.
Today's home opener. Aaron Nola's going to be on the hill.
Big issue for the Phillies
The Bullpen is rough. There's only so much you can handle of Meathook James Russell (54.00 ERA), not-ready-for-prime-time Daniel Stumpf (40.50), Gascan David Hernandez (10.13) and Merry-go-Round Dalier Hinojosa.
Russell is the only guy I'm confident will have an ERA below 5.00 before this is all said and done.