Opening salvo: Philadelphia Phillies defeat Texas Rangers 14-10 on Opening Day
By Mike Lacy
Mar 31, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Philadelphia Phillies short stop Jimmy Rollins (11) celebrates with first baseman Ryan Howard (6) after hitting a grand slam home run in the second inning during the opening day baseball game against the Texas Rangers at Global Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Opening Day often brings low scoring games as staff aces square off against each other. Today’s game didn’t quite play out that way. The first problem came when Rangers ace Yu Darvish had to start the season on the disabled list. Starting in his place was Tanner Scheppers, and Scheppers did not perform well, giving up seven runs in four innings.
With Cliff Lee posted to a six run lead, it looked like an easy victory might be in store for the Phillies. But today’s game was far from easy. Lee had one of the worst starts of his career, giving up eight runs in five innings. It was obviously going to take a lot of runs to win the game, and fortunately, the Phillies offense was up to the task.
The Phillies had 17 hits en route to scoring 14 runs. That was their highest Opening Day output since 1900 when they scored 19 runs against Boston. There were stars throughout the lineup, and the Phillies even managed to walk six times.
It shows what a difference a season can make. In 2013, it took the Phillies half the season to score double digits runs in one game.
Jimmy Rollins – As of yesterday, it wasn’t even clear if he’d be available for the game since his wife was due to give birth. The Phillies were certainly glad he made it. His second inning grand slam was the biggest blow of the day.
Cody Asche – Asche had a poor Spring Training, but he started the season on a strong note, going 3-4 including a home run.
Tanner Scheppers – Most non-Rangers fans had never heard of Scheppers before today. Scheppers probably wishes that they still hadn’t heard of him.
Pedro Figueroa – He was the first Rangers reliever to enter the game, but he didn’t provide much relief.
Tuesday night, the Phillies will attempt to go 2-0 for the first time since 2011. A.J. Burnett gets the start for the Phillies, and will be opposed by Rangers lefty Martin Perez.