Phillies Blog – Davey and The Statman Contributors - Phillies blog will feature renowned Sports Handicapper Davey Sharpe and his partner Mike the Statman.  Combined they operate a successful sports handicapping business together and are both lifelong Phillies fans.

Loving the opportunity to be your blogging host of our beloved Phillies this year. However, don’t expect a traditional type blog and lap dogging fan comments that bloggers typically provide. We are not huge fans of the way this organization is being run. There is no forward thinking or innovation being used on this team  – and we will point these shortcomings out over the course of the season. . . and hope that you enjoy our perspective since all we really want is to bring the World Series back to PA!
SEASON OPENER - Well we didn’t see this coming!! 14 runs on opening day on the road?  It would have been a surprise if they got 14 runs total in the first 2 weeks of the season. There were a ton of positives for our Phillies coming out of the opening game in Globe Life Park – Let’s review:
Jimmy Rollins, who was clearly irritating his manager the entire spring, set the tone early by going deep for a slam that gave us a 6-0 lead.  Rollins went 0-5 the rest of the way, but his slam was the catalyst that jump started the Phillies usually stagnant offense. And to Jimmy’s credit, that is still a great start for him. . . . after 1 game he has one HR and 4 RBI’s. The entire month of April last year – he had 1 HR and 7 RBI’s.  That’s the kind of start we needed to see out of him.  Rumors and drama all spring with this guy – Sandberg hates him, he doesn’t respect Sandberg, Sandberg wants to unload him, Rollins refuses to be traded, blah blah . . . he needs to keep the clutch hitting going to keep the noise down – or he could find himself on the outside looking in.
The other positives include HUGE offensive performances by Revere and Cody Asche, as well as a 3 hit day for Utley and HR’s by Asche and also Marlon Byrd.  And 3 things the Phillies struggled to do all spring – we huge improvements yesterday – hit the ball, get baserunners, and score runs. 17 hits, 6 walks, 6 extra base hits and 3 HR’s - - Revere and Bryd had the hot bats all spring and its fantastic to see that they kept it going into the regular season.
The bullpen actually falls on the positive side in today’s blog. Jake Diekman looked superb in his first inning of relief and it was only due to some poor work by BJ that he got those 2 runs charged to him. I fail to see the rationale of removing Diekman in that situation – as he was able to plow through the top of the Rangers order on only 11 pitches – including striking out both Prince and Shin –Soo Choo. This won’t be the only move that we question of Sandberg’s this year.

Did you see Ryan Howard running the bases? My fat ass could run the bases  better than he can.  He looked like he had boxcars attached to his ankles. And he tries to score on Ruiz’s grounder?? Absurd. He was out by about 50 feet. 

And this thing with Cliff Lee not being able to hold a lead is starting to become a serious pattern. This guy is getting 25 million dollars and they stake him to a 6-0 lead. That has to be lights out. No doubt, no question, no forgiveness.  You are the opening day starter for a team that you know can’t hit – you gotta take that 6-0 lead and bear down HARD and shut that Texas team down. Not let them back in the game and give up the lead. 1 strikeout?? This is what we are paying 25 million for?  Wow I would say Lee needs to shake off whatever rust has accumulated over the offseason and get it together for his next start. With Hamels out, Lee needs to be the cornerstone of that starting rotation. And starting the year with a 4 figure ERA is not going to get it done.

Overall a win is a win – and the positives have me and The Statman very excited about the season.

Tonight we get to see AJ Burnett in his first start after a pretty rough spring. He had a serious problem with the strike zone down in Clearwater walking 9 in 19 and 1/3. Burnett does hold a winning record over Texas – check back here Thursday for our next column.