Year In Review: April

In recent years in the past, the Phillies were known for having a poor April. In 2007, they proved that a bad April would not hurt their postseason chances, but the Phillies wanted to get off to a hotter start in 2008, and they did just that. The Phillies shipped off Wes Helms, added Rudy Seanez and finished April with a 15-11 record to start the year.

Chase Utley and Pat Burrell carried the team through April and much of the first half of the season. Utley hit 10 homeruns with 21 RBI in April sporting a .352 batting average and 1.168 OPS. He was named April's Player of the Month. Burrell wasn't too shabby himself. He hit .326 with 8 HR and 24 RBI with an OPS of 1.136.

The early success of Utley and Burrell help carried the team through a fun filled April. As a team the Phillies hit .252. They had a team ERA of 3.56.

The big games:

April 3: The Phillies first win came in an unusual way. The win came against the Washington Nationals. Tied at 7 in the 10 inning with the bases loaded, Jayson Werth worked a walk as the Phillies won 8-7 on a walk off walk. Clay Condrey got the win, but it would be the first win of 92 for the Phillies.

April 8: Utley was hit 3, well 4 times at the final home opener at Shea Stadium. He was hit by a pitch 3 times, and was hit the 4th as Carlos Delagado threw to second for the force out, but instead hit Utley in the basepath. The Phillies took the lead, and the win.

However, during the series, Jimmy Rollins sprained his ankle and would miss about a month. Shane Victorino would also miss time due to a strained calf. The only other injury during the month was to Brad Lidge, who missed just the first week of the season, but recorded his first save against the Reds on April 7th as the Phillies won 5-3.

April 15th: The Phillies were down 3-0 in the 9th inning against Jose Valverde and the Astros. Chris Snelling hit a solo homerun to get the Phillies on the board. Pat Burrell then hit a 2 run homerun to tie the game at 3. Pedro Feliz laced a single down the left feild line as Geoff Jenkins rounded the bases to give the Phillies an exciting come from behind win. Steve Smith put up the stop sign for Jenkins, but he scored, and that is all that mattered.

April 20: Subbing for Jimmy Rollins, Eric Bruntlett made a few errors in New York that cost the Phillies a game. Bruntlett made up for it. With a 5-4 lead with 2 men on base and 2 outs, Carlos Beltran ripped a ball up the middle, however Bruntlett made a diving play to end the game.

Other highlights:

Pat Burrell hit a go ahead double in Milwaukee to help capture a Phillies 3-1 win.

Cole Hamels strikes out 11 batters against the Brewers. Hamels recieved some "tough luck" all year, but had a 2.75 ERA in April.

Jayson Werth hit an inside the park homerun at Coors Feild. Down 5-4, the Phillies rallied in the 8th and 9th to take the win.

If April showers bring May flowers, would April wins mean May... aww forget it. After a successful April, the Phillies hoped to continued their winning ways into May.


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