Oh what difference a day can make…
The Opening Day fanfare outside and within Citizen’s Bank Park could be felt throughout the Delaware Valley. Phils fans everywhere were ready to kick off the home season and give the Washington Nationals another beatdown. The lineups were announced, and shortly thereafter, your hometown team sprung from their dugout onto the field to begin the top of the 1st inning of a new season at CBP. Howard, Utley, Werth, Shane… the familiar names on the backs of their uniforms were all there on the field.
Except… “Where the hell is J-Roll?” the crowd collectively buzzed.
It was revealed shortly into the game that Jimmy was scratched right before the start of the game, but after the lineup cards had been submitted by both managers (which meant he could not come in to pinch hit during the game, and Juan Castro, his replacement, had to bat in the leadoff spot.) It was later reported that Rollins had strained his calf muscle during warmups, and that an MRI had been scheduled.
Despite the loss of Rollins, the Phillies continued their winning ways today by defeating the Nationals 7-4. However, the feeling amongst the team, fans, and media was that today felt like a huge loss. Not only did they lose Rollins before the game, but Jayson Werth had to leave after the 5th inning due to a sore hip. Reports are that Werth pulled himself from the game, and that he doesn’t believe it to be serious. It must be noted, however, that Werth is not a doctor.
Cole Hamels once again struggled with his command, giving up four runs over 5.2 innings of work. The one positive to take from Cole’s day was that he walked only 1 batter, versus walking four his first start against the Nats. His outing was good enough to earn the win, despite his own efforts. This W certainly belongs to the offense, which once again continued to pound out runs, even without two staples in the lineup for much of the game.
Yes the Phillies won today over a familiar whipping-boy of a team. But with Rollins and Werth sustaining unknown injuries, and Hamels struggling to get through 5 innings, the once sunny skies over Phillies Nation appear to have a few grey clouds rolling over the horizon.
Oh yes, what a difference a day makes.