There won't be any beer served at Citizens Bank Park the rest of the season.
Because the Phillies lost the Opener. (ba dum bum)
It's one of my father's favorite jokes. And sadly, it comes out more often than not this time of year.
Whether it's a Punxatawny Phil-like projection of what's to come remains to be seen. However, it should be noted that historically, Aprils have not been kind to the Fightin's.
The Phillies have not won a Season Opener since 2005 against the Washington Nationals, and have now lost eighth of their last nine openers. That April they went 10-14.
Last season, the team kick started its World Championship run with its best April since 2003, going 15-12.
In 2007, they went 11-14. The Phillies won the NL East on the last day of the season, before getting swept by Colorado in the NLDS.
Everything before that is pretty much the Dark Ages. Between 2004 and 2006, they went 10-11, 10-14, and 10-14.
So perhaps the magic number is 11? If the Phils win 11 in April, they make the playoffs? Talk to me in September.
In the meantime, the Phillies de facto opening day starter—the same for the past three seasons—picked up right where he left off at the start of last season.
Which is not a good thing.
Brett Myers has a history of getting over excited at the start of games and getting rocked. Usually, if he can get through the first, he's good to go.
Yeah, that didn't happen.
Myers gave up a two-out walk to Chipper Jones, then a no-doubt-about-it rocket off catcher Brian McCann that landed in the second deck of Citizens Bank Park.
The deficit became 4-0 on second-inning jacks to Jeff Francoeur, who couldn't hit anything at the end of last season, and Jordan Schafer in his first MLB at-bat.
Welcome to the Bigs, kid.
And that set the stage for a little revenge for new Atlanta starter Derek Lowe, who the Phillies last saw in the NLCS against the Dodgers. Lowe was cruising towards a series-tying win, when the wheels fell off, and Shane Victorino and Matt Stairs launched the Phillies towards an improbable and commanding 3-1 series lead.
Again, Lowe was dominant. Lots of ground balls. Only two hits. No one got past second base.
The Phils were relieved to see Lowe yield to the bullpen in the ninth and finally broke through against Gonzalez. The tying run actually came to the plate with one out and Ryan Howard at bat.
Howard took a mighty 1-0 cut on a slider and missed badly. Same thing at 2-1. What is it about the slider that Howard just cannot see? I've never stood in against a major-league slider, but Ryan seems to have more trouble with that pitch than most.
And he knows it. That's why Rodriguez was able to sneak a 3-2 fastball right by him.
That brought up Raul Ibanez, the replacement for the now-beloved and recently-departed Pat Burrell (now with Tampa Bay).
Could the newest Phillie be the hero in his first game in the City of Brotherly love?
Struck him out with a 3-2 fastball to end the game.
But interestingly enough, I didn't hear any boos.
So I hope you enjoyed a tall cold one with the game. Looks like it's gonna be a long, thirsty summer in Philly. But Phillies fans will take it if it means they're sipping champagne once again this fall.
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