2010 Opening Day Recap: This Game Is Easy. Phillies 11, Nationals 1

There's so much to say about this game . . . and yet so little.

Let's start with the "so little" part of it.  The Phillies had 13 hits, 21 total bases, 9 walks, and 4 strikeouts.  The Nationals had 9 hits, 13 total bases, 3 walks, and 11 strikeouts.  Guess who won?  The team that clogs the bases and moves runners around will beat the team that does neither.  It's a pretty easy game this baseball.

But moving on to the "so much" part of the recap.  The Phillies broke their Opening Day curse of the Charlie Manuel era.  Manuel hasn't won an opening day game since 2005, his first year with the Phillies.  Since then, the Phillies are 0-4, being outscored by their opponents 33-15.  As bad as the Phillies have been in April under Manuel, maybe this is a sign of good things to come?

Or maybe it's just a sign of what we can expect with Roy Halladay on the mound.  The AL ace sure looked good today in his NL debut.  After a shaky first inning in which he allowed a run on two hits, a stolen base, and a walk, Halladay settled down and looked masterful.  Halladay threw 19 pitches in the first inning, but only 69 in the remaining 6.  He struck out 9 and scattered just 4 more hits and 1 walk.  The weak-hitting Nationals had no chance.

And maybe that's all this game is about.  The Nationals are going to be horrible this year.  John Lannan, their opening day starting pitcher, had the advantage in being a lefty facing the Phillies' lefty-heavy lineup.  Yet Ryan Howard hit a two run home run against him, Chase Utley drew a walk, and Raul Ibanez singled.  The Nationals' bullpen of no-names couldn't stop the bleeding either, allowing a grand slam to the weakest power hitter in the Phillies' lineup, Placido Polanco.

The Phillies, as they did today, are going to score runs this year.  Roy Halladay, as he did today, is going to pitch very well this year, especially against the weaker teams in the NL.  And almost every team that out-clogs and out-slams the other team is going to win, as the Phillies did today.

Wednesday is Cole Hamels' turn to keep the momentum going and try to give this April a different spin than Aprils past.

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