It was the game fans were waiting for from Raul Ibanez. His three hits (two doubles) and three RBI’s led the Phillies to an 8-0 win over the Houston Astros on Friday. Ibanez was hitting .091 heading into the game and saw his three hits raise his average to .267. That’s the beauty of the first week in baseball when averages are as consistent as a Mitch Williams fastball.
J.A. Happ (1-0) was very solid in his start but threw 103 pitches. He pitched five-plus scoreless innings, allowing six hits and two walks while striking out five. David Herndon was impressive in his two innings, allowing the only two hits by the pen. Danys Baez and Jose Contreras pitched masterful eighth and ninth innings to seal the shut out.
Houston starter Bud Norris didn’t fare too well as he allowed three runs in 2.2 innings. He was yanked early because he was at 86 pitches and couldn’t get anyone out, walking four batters and surrendering six hits. Second baseman Jeff Keppinger continued his stellar early play with three hits.
Placido Polanco continued his torrid start with a four-hit performance. Chase Utley homered and Ryan Howard hit a pair of doubles. Shane Victorino was the only position player in the starting line up to not hit as he has continued to have a poor start.
The Phillies have been manufacturing runs, scoring 32 runs in their first four games with only four homers. Howard and the rest of the first four batters are all batting at least .400 and have been putting up great numbers. With an early showing like that, this offense is scary. Just wait until Victorino wakes up.