Originally written on Macho Row  |  Last updated 10/22/14
9e
W: Avilan (1-0, 0.00 ERA) L: Hamels (0-1, 9.00 ERA) SV: Kimbrel (1) Chase Utley hit his 200th career home run and was a double shy of baseball's first Opening Day cycle since 1950, but his impressive 2013 debut was not enough to get the Phillies started on the right foot in Atlanta. Cole Hamels allowed three home runs in a 7-5 Opening Day loss to the Braves. Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman launched a two-run home run in to right field with two outs in the first inning to give the Braves a quick 2-0 lead. Dan Uggla led off the second inning with a massive shot to left field and Freeman again struck with two outs in the third inning with an RBI single. Justin Upton later added a solo home run in his Braves debut in the fifth inning, after the Phillies had cut the Braves lead to 4-3. For Hamels, getting out of an inning and the critical shutdown innings were a struggle in the ace's 2013 season debut. Hamels said after the game that he was unable to establish his fastball. "You have to be able to establish the fastball down in the zone, and I wasn't able to do that as much as I'd like," Hamels said in postgame interviews (MLB.com). "Most of the pitches that were hit out were fastballs up in the zone. I want to claim that's uncharacteristic, but there are times when you have to be able to make the adjustment and I wasn't able to make the adjustment fast enough." I'm not worried about Hamels. You should not be either. Not after one game of course. While the Braves took the win, the story of the night from the Philadelphia side was Utley, who reached second base on an RBI single and stretched a double in to a triple, showing that his legs may be in pretty good shape. He also muscled a solo home run over the head of B.J. Upton to dead center field for the first Phillies home run of the season. "That was classic Chase," Ryan Howard said. While I do not want to get carried away with Hamels and his rough debut, I also want to take Utley's impressive season debut in stride. But boy was it fun to watch. The Good Chase Utley got the Phillies on the board with a solo home run in the fourth inning to dead center field and he picked up three RBI on the night to give the Phillies a puncher's chance. Utley was 3-for-5 on the night with a home run, a triple and a two RBI single. Jeremy Horst allowed one hit and struck out two in two innings of relief after Chad Durbin ran in to quick trouble in the sixth inning. Horst minimized the damage in a tough situation, throwing 12 strikes out of 17 pitches. The Bad Cole Hamels allowed three home runs in his season debut, helping to dig an early hole for the Phillies right out of the start of the game. Hamels has a history of rough season debuts though and this just adds to his bizarre trend. Hamels will be just fine, but he had a rough season debut on the mound in Atlanta. Ryan Howard was 0-for-5 in the season opener with one strikeout. Chad Durbin returned to Atlanta but had a forgettable season debut. Durbin was charged for two runs on two hits and one walk on just eight pitches in the sixth inning. The runs allowed by Durbin turned out to be the difference in the game, although Hamels was pegged for the loss. The Ugly The defense left something to be desired in the opener. While the team did not record an official error, there were some mishaps at the corners in the infield and outfield. The defense was uncharacteristically down in 2012 and the spring was not exactly a defensive clinic. National League East Update Bryce Harper homered in each of his first two at-bats of the 2013 season and Stephen Strasburg was efficiently dominant at home to lead the Washington Nationals to a 2-0 season opening victory over the Miami Marlins. The performances of Harper and Strasburg may have overshadowed the fact that the Nationals managed just three hits from the rest of the lineup against a team expected to be left in the distance in the division. In New York the Mets pounded the San Diego Padres by the score of 11-2. Collin Cowgill provided the exclamation mark with a two-out seventh inning grand slam and Jon Niese picked up the win after pitching 6.2 innings and allowing two runs and striking out four. Place Team W L GB 1 Atlanta Braves 1 0 -   New York Mets 1 0 -   Washington Nationals 1 0 - 4 Miami Marlins 0 1 1.0   Philadelphia Phillies 0 1 1.0 What's Next? Roy Halladay gets the start Wednesday night after the Phillies and Braves take a day off. Halladay was 2-1 with a 6.06 ERA in spring training, and he walked nine and struck out 16 batters in 16.1 innings pitched. Halladay is 4-3 with a 4.21 ERA in 11 career games against the Braves, but is 1-2 in six career games in Turner Field, the sight of one of Doc's more frustrating performances last season. He will be opposed by Atlanta's Paul Maholm, who was 4-1 with a 1.53 ERA in the spring. Follow Macho Row on Twitter and Facebook.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cam Newton calls out 'classless' Panthers fans

Report: 49ers to part ways with Harbaugh after season finale

Brad Stevens shoots down rumors he's headed to Hoosiers

Jameis Winston cleared in code of conduct case

Sherman: Patrick Peterson would be benched on Seahawks

Fans struck by lightning after Buccaneers-Packers game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Philip Rivers playing through painful back injury

Report: Bears could have interest in Jim Harbaugh

Report: Shanahan interested in coaching next season

Report: Michigan has its eye on several NFL coaches

Report: Titans, Jay Cutler have mutual interest in trade

Phillies GM told Ryan Howard team is better off without him

Tony Romo leads Dallas Cowboys to NFC East title

Ole Miss QB arrested after fighting, threatening bouncers

WATCH: Marshawn Lynch's ridiculous TD run

WATCH: Steelers' Gay draws flag for taunting teammate

WATCH: Three players ejected after Giants-Rams fight

WATCH: Dominic Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

WATCH: Arian Foster throws TD pass, drops scoreboard taunt

WATCH: Johnny Manziel leaves with injury after taking big hit

NHL has warned 22 players about diving

Nick Mangold wears NYDP hat to honor fallen officers

Five things we learned from the first day of bowl games

WATCH: South Alabama coach bloodied after kick to the face

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Cam Newton calls out 'classless' Panthers fans

Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

Bears interested in Jim Harbaugh?

Shanahan to return to 2015?

Browns interested in drafting Mariota?

Mullen wears funny Christmas sweater

RG3 returning to Redskins?

Tom Izzo hot after bad loss

Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

WATCH: DeSean mocks Eagles

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

No NFL team in LA next season?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.