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This Year Billy's on Our Side


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The Philadelphia Phillies are opening the 2007 season with a new look and new team leaders. Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are the driving force behind the team and have been named co-captains for the upcoming season. Jimmy Rollins, not known for being the quietest member of the squad spoke up early saying they are the team to beat. Utley followed his footsteps, annoucning that "this year, Billy's on our side," in reference to the Curse of William Penn that has plagued Philadelphia sports teams since the last championship.



Rollins should provide pop at the top of order with the speed to get on base and score runs


Victorino has the speed for the 2 hole and the hitting to provide lead-off help should Rollins slip


Utley is one of the best hitters in the majors and can drive in runs from the 3 hole


Enough said


Burrell worked hard in the off-season and will hope to provide the numbers for the gaudy contract his signed a few years back


Helms can hit very well as proved in limited action with Marlins, he should be valuable in the six spot


Rowand will need to regain his stroke this year and hopefully he can provide as much excitement at the plate as he does in the field


As one of the smartest catchers in the game, Barajas will need to prove his worth for a starting nod over Coste

Freddy Garcia will take the mound against the Braves at 7:05 in the home opener

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PHILADELPHIA- Chase Utley knew it as soon as the bat hit ball.

"I knew that sucker was going to go for a while," Utley said of his first home run of the season.

Utley went 4 for 4 with the upper deck home run and two RBIs. Ryan Howard had a solid game, going 2 for 4 with an RBI single. New Phillie Wes Helms collected his first RBI of the year with an RBI single in the bottom of the first.

Freddy Garcia (1-0) went seven strong innings, scattering four hits while only allowing one run. Tom Gordon closed out the game in the ninth for his first save.


Garcia saves a run in the third

Box Score

Utley's Home Run

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PHILADELPHIA- They don't call Citizen's Bank Park a bandbox for nothing. Three Atlanta hits went out of the yard as the Braves beat the Phillies 10-4.

Andruw Jones, Edgar Renteria, and Kelly Johnson each connected on long balls for Atlanta. Jones drove his first of the season over the left-center field wall, where as Renteria and Johnson each hit their to right.

Aaron Rowand provided the only offensive spark for the Phils as he hit his first home run in the bottom of the ninth. Brett Myers (0-1) was tormented by the Braves' hitters allowing six runs in seven innings of work.

"I guess this is how it feels to be beaten," Myers said after the game. "I'll go apologize to my wife after this one."


Andruw Jones hits his home run


Aaron Rowand connects on a 2 run shot

Box Score

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17 HITS, 9 RUNS, 1 WIN

PHILADELPHIA- The Phillies made up for their last loss as they dismantled the Braves 9-2 in front of a sell out crowd.

Cole Hamels (1-0) pitched eight strong innings, allowing one run over five hits. "Cole was tough to hit today," Andruw Jones said. "He may have not struck a bunch of us out, but it was hard to pick up his ball movement."

Aaron Rowand once again continued his hot hitting, going 4 for 4 on the day, driving in 5 runs. His second home run of the year came in the eigth to put the game completely away.

Kelly Johnson hit his second home run of the year for the Braves in the ninth.


Mike Hampton saves a run for Atlanta


Rowand connects on his HR as the Braves bench looks on

Box Score

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MIAMI- Ryan Howard just couldn't get his glove down. What was a knock against his 2006 MVP campaign came to fruition when his error allowed Reggie Abercrombie to advance to second, later scoring on Miguel Olivio's single.

"I must have not been thinking at that moment," Howard said. "Jimmy made a poor throw but I should have had it. Hopefully my bat can come up big next game."

Miguel Cabrera dominated Phillies pitching, going 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs.

Down 3-0 going into the fifth, Philadelphia mounted a small comeback. Rollins hit a sacrafice fly to score Rod Barajas. Burrell and Barajas added RBIs in the next frame to tie the game.

But Adam Eaton left a pitch over the plate to Olivio, and the game was history.

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MIAMI- Last game Ryan Howard said the next game he hopes hit bat does the talking instead of his poor fielding. Howard should be nostradamous.

Howard connected on two home runs, most notably a grand slam in the top of the 12th inning to put the Phillies comfortably ahead.

"I was just seeing the ball really well today," Howard said. "That first home run I just crushed."

Eude Brito (1-0) picked up the win for Philadelphia after Lieber and Madson put the brakes on the Marlins scoring outburst.

Miguel Cabrera continued his dominance of Phillies pitching, going 5 for 6 with 2 HRs.


Ryan Howard hit his first home run, a 456 foot shot in the second

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MIAMI- Fans came to Dolphins Stadium in search of a slugfest, featuring two of the premier hitters in the game, Ryan Howard and Miguel Cabrera. What they got instead was a pitcher's duel.

Dontrelle Willis pitched eight masterful innings for the Fish, striking out six and walking one. But Freddy Garcia was up to the challenge, pitching seven innings, giving up three hits, while striking out two.

"Having another pitcher throwing well really helps you out," Garcia said. "I was able to try to match him pitch for pitch."

Usually Pat Burrell and clutch do not come in the same sentence, but he doubled in the top of the ninth to score Howard all the way from first.


Howard slides into home in front of the throw from Hermedia

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PHILLIES.COM - Are you happy with the start so far, could anything be better?

CHARLIE MANUEL - Well, we could be 6-0 at this point and that would be marginally better, but right now I think the team is coming into their own.

PHILLIES.COM- You have got two solid starts out of Freddy Garcia thus far, are you content with the move made in the off season?

CHARLIE MANUEL- Freddy is a solid ace for us on this team. He should continue to pitch well for us, and pick up the wins as long as we can put some runs up on the board.

PHILLIES.COM - Speaking of run support, are you happy with the way the offense is playing or could it be hitting better?

CHARLIE MANUEL- Honestly, I am kind of upset at the way the offense is playing right now. Ryan has had too many careless at bats in which he wants to crush the ball. He should go back to doing what he did last year. Chase started out strong, but now he is fishing for some throws in the dirt. He needs to settle in. Aaron Rowand has been a pleasant surprise, but we need Pat to start getting his power stroke. I am going to throw the guys in the cages before the next game to get the kinks worked out.

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NEW YORK- Shane Victorino could feel it. After his double in the top of the third, he had an idea about it. After his single in the sixth, he wanted it. When he hit his home run in the seventh, he tasted it. Then he legged out a triple and got it.

Victorino went 4 for 6 on the day with 3 runs scored and 3 RBIs. "I just felt something click today," Victorino said.

The Phillies pounded out 26 hits, including 19 off of Mets' starter Tom Glavine (0-2). Victorino, Utley, Burrell, and Barajas each had four hits for Philadelphia. Aaron Rowand continues his hitting display, going 3 for 6 with 3 RBIs.


Glavine has a blank stare after another hit by the Phillies


Pedro Feliciano watches Victorino's home run

Box Score

I managed the last two innings because I did want the slaughter to continue

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26 hits! holy crap, you should have had at least 15-20 runs man!

I play small ball, which is indicative of my home run totals. Plus when my hits come with like Rod Barajas and Pat Burrell on second, it's hard to score them when you line a hit to Carlos Beltran. I tried to score Howard from second on a hit to center, I had to run over the catcher, but Lo Duca held onto the ball.

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NEW YORK - Cole Hamels knew he would have to bring his "A" game against El Duque. Hamels outlasted Hernandez, going eight innings, striking out seven, and collecting his first RBI of the year.

"I knew I was going to have to put together a good game," Hamels said. "I just felt on today."

Hernandez held the Phils in check for six innings with his trademark delivery, but in the seventh, Cole Hamels hit a sharp grounder to Delgado that allowed Barajas to score from third.

There was no scoring until the top of the tenth, when Jimmy Rollins hit an opposite field home run to put the Phillies ahead for good. Alfonseca collected his first win of the year, and Tom Gordon got his third save.


Endy Chavez can't rob this home run by Jimmy Rollins

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NEW YORK - Jamie Moyer is getting old. He knows it. He knows he only has one more year tops under his belt. He is making the best of it.

Moyer pitched a complete game against the Mets, allowing seven hits while striking out nine.

"I know I may not bring the heat," Moyer said. "But I was able to keep the Mutts off balance enough to strike some out."

Ryan Howard found his home run swing again, connecting on his third home run of the year, that just went over the right centerfield fence. Wes Helms hit his first home run for the Phillies, a towering 458 foot home run into the parking lot behind the left field wall.


Helms puts a window out in the parking lot with this dinger


Ryan Howard follows through on his home run

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PHILADELPHIA - Jon Lieber and Pat Burrell, two of the hottest talked about Phillies on the trade block this winter, proved that they want to stay in Philadelphia. Lieber pitched seven strong innings and Burrell hit his first home run of the year as they paced the Phillies to a 7-0 win.

Burrell got the scoring started in the first when he took Victor Zambrano (1-1) the opposite way for a three run bomb. "I really want to prove my worth to these Phillies fans," Burrell said. "I signed that big contract, the least I could do is play well for them."

In the seventh, Carlos Ruiz stepped to the plate to pinch hit for Lieber and sent an opposite field moon shot for his first of the year.

Earlier in the game, Ryan Howard crushed a high change up to deep center field, which looked like a sure home run. But Luke Scott climbed the fence to take one way from the big man. In the eighth, Howard took Chad Qualls to the same part of the park, but Scott had no acrobatics as Howard has tallied four on the year.

Lieber struck out eight while allowing six hits.


Burrell's three home run


Carlos Ruiz admires his home run while Brad Ausmus does as well


Scott can rob that hit by Howard...


...But not this one

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PHILADELPHIA- Roy Oswalt dominated the Phillies in a complete game start. Oswalt (2-0) only allowed five hits while striking out five. Equally impressive was Freddy Garcia (1-1), who went eight innings, scattering six hits, and striking out nine, but allowing the lone run of the game.

"This was a disappointing loss," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "We didn't play well at all. Chase had three strikeouts, and Ryan just missed a home run. They happen. We'll get em next game."

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