I am having a difficult time focusing. Roy Oswalt lost his first game in Citizen’s Bank Park and I can’t stop thinking about a certain dreamy second baseman sauntering handsomely back into the starting line-up of the Philadelphia Phillies. Rationally, regardless of his personal appearance, we all know that Chase Utley returning to the line-up is not going to rectify all of the problems they are having scoring runs, but removing a weak hitting double play machine from the number two position in the batting order is going to markedly improve their chances.
We were made extremely aware of the difficulty that the offense is having as they were throughly dominated by a pitcher with a 4.27 ERA entering play this afternoon. Matt Harrison is left handed, has a fastball that touches the mid-nineties and has issued twenty three walks in his forty innings this season. This is yet another in the pantheon of hurlers that have given the Phillies fits. He is also the type of pitcher that has traditionally frustrated the hell out the offense. It always seems that they get shut down by guys that they haven’t seen before. After eight 1/3 innings, five hits and no runs, Harrison proved the aforementioned theory. To be fair, ten of the batters that he retired today came via the fly-out, which normally spells disaster at Citizen’s Bank Park. Hypothetically, if this guy came around in the warmer summer months he would be in trouble, but on a cool May afternoon, he shut the Phillies down.
Roy Oswalt appears to have recovered from his back problem. He allowed one run in his seven innings and did exactly what ace pitchers do; he kept the team in the game. He ran into trouble in the top of the sixth when he allowed a single to Michael Young followed by a double to Mitch Moreland which scored Young. He gave up one run and it was pretty evident that once he did, the game was over. I seem to be saying this too much lately, but Roy deserved better than a 2-0 loss.
The good: Oswalt was effective, Jimmy Rollins, Wilson Valdez and Placido Polanco all made fantastic defensive plays in the game and no one got hurt.
The bad: OFFENSE.
Tomorrow, Chase Utley returns (insert girlish scream here) as Cole Hamels takes on Bronson Arroyo at Citizen’s Bank. Get ready to swoon everyone.