--2B Wilson Valdez has quietly filled in quite nicely for injured five-time All-Star Chase Utley. The 32-year-old Valdez, who made his first Opening Day start since 2005, has been in the lineup for three consecutive games and has hit safely in each, helping the Phillies sweep the Astros. Valdez is 4-for-11 with a double, two RBIand a sacrifice bunt. He's also played error-free defense at second base.
--LHP Cole Hamels will make his first start of the 2011 season on Tuesday night, when the Phillies host division rival New York. Hamels is 2-8 with a 3.83 ERA in 13 career starts against the Mets. But his record is a bit misleading. In 2010, Hamels lost three games to New York despite allowing a combined four earned runs. The Phillies were shut out in each of those three games.
--OF/INF Michael Martinez showed off his value in Sunday's 7-3 win over the Astros. Martinez, a 28-year-old who was selected by the Phillies in December's Rule 5 draft, made his major league debut, starting in center field. With the departure of Jayson Werth to the Nationals as a free agent this winter, the Phils were left without a natural, backup center fielder for three-time Gold Glove winner Shane Victorino. Since Victorino was held out of Sunday's lineup because of a mild calf strain, manager Charlie Manuel inserted Martinez into Victorino's leadoff spot and center field position. "I didn't want to change my lineup around because we were scoring runs; I'm not superstitious, but I just felt like doing that," Manuel said of hitting Martinez first. "And he can play center field."
--RHP Roy Oswalt hasn't called Citizens Bank Park home for a year yet but he's already more than comfortable in the eight-year-old South Philadelphia ballpark. After dispatching his old team, the Houston Astros, in a 7-3 win on Sunday, Oswalt is 10-0 with a 2.17 ERA in 11 career starts at Citizens Bank Park. Since arriving from Houston in a trade deadline deal last July, Oswalt is 6-0 with a 1.91 ERA (10 earned runs in 47 innings) in seven starts at Citizens Bank Park.
--RHP David Herndon might emerge as the Phillies' go-to reliever in the seventh inning. With closer Brad Lidge on the disabled list, Jose Contreras and Ryan Madson have both been asked to slide down in the bullpen's rotation, covering the eighth and ninth innings rather than their usual, seventh and eighth-inning roles. In two of the Phillies' first three games, Herndon has been the recipient of work in the seventh. After giving up two runs in the season-opening 5-4 win on Friday, Herndon bounced back Sunday by pitching shutout frames in the seventh and eighth innings of a 7-3 win over the Astros.
BY THE NUMBERS
126 -- The number of consecutive sellouts at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies announced attendances of 45,562 on Sunday and the 45,455 on Saturday rank as the second and third largest regular season crowds in the history of the eight-year-old ballpark.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"That's mostly you guys, the expectations. We kind of know what were capable of doing. You can read a lot of stuff out there, but in your mind, you know what you can do when you get out there." -- RHP Roy Oswalt, after holding Houston to two runs in six innings. Oswalt, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee combined for a 2-0 record with a 2.84 ERA, 23 strikeouts and one walk in 19 innings against the Astros.
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