Phillies vs. Pirates: Roy Halladay Looks Sharp as Philadelphia Edges Pittsburgh

Josh FriedmanContributor IIIApril 5, 2012

Roy Halladay went eight strong innings for the Phillies on Opening Day.
Roy Halladay went eight strong innings for the Phillies on Opening Day.Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

For the second consecutive game, the Philadelphia Phillies and Roy Halladay played a 1-0 game. In Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS, they lost to St. Louis. Today the Phils came out on the right side, winning their season opener in Pittsburgh.

Sure, it’s only one game, but if it’s any indication, the Phillies pitchers better be nearly perfect. Against Pirates starter Erik Bedard and two relievers, the Phils managed eight hits and the game's lone run, courtesy of a Carlos Ruiz sacrifice fly in the seventh inning.

Fortunately, Roy Halladay was his usual All-Star self, holding the Bucs scoreless while surrendering only two hits. Both of those came before Halladay had even recorded an out, the latter on a swinging bunt that died along the third base line.

In other words, Halladay spotted the Pirates two hits, then combined with closer Jonathan Papelbon to no-hit Pittsburgh. The only Pirates to get on after the first two batters were hit batsmen.

Jimmy Rollins, batting third, surprised the Pirates—and perhaps the entire Delaware Valley—by bunting for a single in his first at-bat. Perhaps he’s embracing small ball in the absence of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.

The Phillies defense was strong, with LF John Mayberry Jr., 1B Ty Wigginton and 2B Freddy GIDP—er, Galvis—making some nice plays behind Halladay. Unfortunately, Galvis grounded into a pair of double plays.

Papelbon did what he’s supposed to in his first regular-season game as a Phillie: He put the Pirates down one-two-three, striking out the first player he faced.

So, is the glass half-full or half-empty? Was it great that the starting pitching, defense and relief pitching were exceptional, or worrisome that the offense could only push across one run against the Pirates?

Hey, it’s only one game.

And it’s a better result than the last 1-0 game the Phillies played.