The earliest inter-league game in major league history might or might not have supplied a view into the future for the Philadelphia Phillies, but consider this telling fact: The Phillies did not score 10 runs in a single game until the last week of June a year ago.
In a 14-10 Monday win at the Texas Rangers, the Phils accomplished that before April even arrived.
If that’s an omen of things to come, Marlon Byrd just might be right. Byrd, who hit .291 in addition to 24 home runs and 88 RBIs last year, is really the biggest piece added to an old offense this off season. Yet Byrd watched his old teammates all spring and told everyone who would listen that the Phillies have the best offense in baseball.
It’s just one game, but a Jimmy Rollins’ grand slam and three hits apiece from young players like Ben Revere and Cody Asche (who wasn’t around at the beginning of last year), demonstrated that this is a group who could put runs on the scoreboard in bunches. Oh yes, and Byrd added a home run.
Last year, the Phils ranked No. 26 in scoring runs and cheated pitchers like Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels out of what could have been much better seasons with that lack of support. During Monday’s victory over the Rangers, Lee’s 17-0 career record when his teams score six runs or more appeared to be in jeopardy when the Phillies fell behind, 7-6, after the Phils spotted him a 6-0 lead.
Now Lee, who got the win, is 18-0 because an offense that disappeared has suddenly reappeared. If it sticks around, this season could get interesting real fast.