Phils Fall to the Revamped Braves, 4-1

Written By Bob Cunningham On Sunday, April 05, 2009
In what was billed as a fantastic opening game for the MLB season, the defending world champion Philadelphia Phillies (Myers) fell to the division-rival Atlanta Braves (Lowe) at Citizens Bank Park, 4-1.

The night started off fine for Myers, who retired the first two batters he faced. Unfortunately, Chipper Jones would have none of that. Jones hit a 2-out single right in front of Raul Ibanez setting up the beginning of the end for Myers and the Phils.

Brian McCann slammed a change-up at the numbers deep into the second deck in right field to quiet the rowdy Philadelphia crowd and put the Braves out ahead by two early in the game.

Bad went to worse for Myers in the second inning.

Jeff Francoeur would lead off the inning and start it off with a bang. He nailed a solo shot into left field to extend the Braves' lead to 3-0.

Could it get any worse for Myers? Evidently it could.

A rookie from AA came up for his first major league at-bat, and boy did he make the best of it. Jordan Schafer had to go low for it, but he cracked a Myers pitch into deep center field for his first major league hit and home run extending the lead to 4-0.

All of this took place in a span of just five batters.

While Myers was having his first meltdown of the season, so were the Phils' batters. The Phils could only manage two hits in the first eight innings, and only four hits total.

The only run of the night for the Phils came in the bottom of the ninth when Jayson Werth brought Eric Bruntlett in on a base hit with 1 out.

After a walk for Chase Utley, Ryan Howard was up with a chance to potentially tie the game and only 1 out. Unfortunately, in the pattern of the game, Howard struck out looking for the slider. He got a fastball right down the middle from Mike Gonzalez and Howard couldn't adjust.

He should have been looking fastball knowing he would have to adjust to anything else, but he did the opposite and got himself locked up. This was the worst possible scenario for the Phils at that time.

An outside pitch chased by Raul Ibanez would eventually end the game.

All in all, this was a totally different game for these two teams. The Braves have to feel good about where they're going for the rest of the season. Their big free-agent acquisition, Derek Lowe, gave them eight shut-out innings and allowed only two hits during that time. A rookie from AA hit a home-run for his first at-bat, and the vets chipped in by going deep as well in McCann and Francoeur.

The Phils on the other hand played with zero intensity and were just plain beat down by the Braves tonight. Hopefully they can identify and fix the problems so this doesn't spell the story for the 2009 season.

The Phils (0-1, Moyer) will face off against the Braves (1-0, Jurrjens) again on 4/7 at 7:05 @ Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. Hopefully the Phils can avoid a second-straight embarassing home loss.

Box Score courtesy of

Braves 4, Phillies 1

Johnson, 2B4000010.000
Escobar, SS4010000.250
Jones, C, 3B4120021.500
McCann, C4112022.250
Anderson, G, LF4010001.250
Francoeur, RF4111011.250
Kotchman, 1B4000011.000
Schafer, CF3121110.667
Lowe, P3000023.000
a-Norton, PH1000000.000
Gonzalez, P0000000.000

a-Flied out for Lowe in the 9th.

2B: Escobar (1, Myers), Jones, C (1, Myers).
HR: McCann (1, 1st inning off Myers, 1 on, 2 out), Francoeur (1, 2nd inning off Myers, 0 on, 0 out), Schafer (1, 2nd inning off Myers, 0 on, 1 out).
TB: Escobar 2; Jones, C 3; McCann 4; Anderson, G; Francoeur 4; Schafer 5.
RBI: McCann 2 (2), Francoeur (1), Schafer (1).
2-out RBI: McCann 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Anderson, G; McCann; Lowe.
Team LOB: 5.

Rollins, SS4010002.250
Werth, RF4011001.250
Utley, 2B3000100.000
Howard, 1B4000022.000
Ibanez, LF4000012.000
Victorino, CF3000010.000
Feliz, 3B3000020.000
Ruiz, C3010000.333
Myers, P1000001.000
a-Dobbs, PH1000000.000
Taschner, P0000000.000
Eyre, P0000000.000
Durbin, C, P0000000.000
Lidge, P0000000.000
b-Bruntlett, PH11100001.000

a-Flied out for Myers in the 6th. b-Doubled for Lidge in the 9th.

2B: Ruiz (1, Lowe), Bruntlett (1, Gonzalez).
TB: Rollins; Werth; Ruiz 2; Bruntlett 2.
RBI: Werth (1).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Rollins; Ibanez.
Team LOB: 4.

Lowe (W, 1-0)8.02000400.00
Gonzalez 1.02111209.00

Myers (L, 0-1)6.08441636.00
Taschner 1.00000100.00
Eyre 0.20000100.00
Durbin, C 0.10000100.00
Lidge 1.00000100.00

IBB: Schafer (by Myers).
Pitches-strikes: Lowe 97-66, Gonzalez 28-15, Myers 97-58, Taschner 17-9, Eyre 10-5, Durbin, C 4-3, Lidge 9-6.
Groundouts-flyouts: Lowe 13-7, Gonzalez 0-1, Myers 7-5, Taschner 2-0, Eyre 0-1, Durbin, C 0-0, Lidge 1-1.
Batters faced: Lowe 26, Gonzalez 6, Myers 27, Taschner 3, Eyre 2, Durbin, C 1, Lidge 3.
Umpires: HP: Jeff Kellogg. 1B: Mark Wegner. 2B: Tim Timmons. 3B: Rob Drake.
Weather: 60 degrees, clear.
Wind: 10 mph, Out to CF.
T: 2:22.
Att: 44,532.
April 5, 2009

Box score official statistics approved by Major League Baseball Office of the Commissioner

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