Thursday, April 5, 2012

Opening Day

Can any Philly sports blog ignore the magic that is opening day? I know I can't. And as a novice baseball at most, I'll tell you what I know about opening day.

1. This guy is a beast.
8 Innings pitched. 5 strike outs. No walks. No runs scored. What else can you ask for from your opening day starter. For people who are worried about the Phillies offense, and a 1-0 win might back them up, 1 out of every 5 games you have this guy on the mound. And he can deal. Roy Halladay is arguably the best pitcher in the major leagues right now, and he showed it today. People might say his velocity is low, that he likes to pitch too many innings. But Roy Halladay is a machine. And his only job is to mow down opposing lineups. And a 2 hit shutout through 8 innings is a great start for the Doc.

2. This guy was worth the money.
Papelbon came in to the game in the 9th inning. And got his first save of the season in his first game. But more importantly, when Charlie Manuel went to the bullpen for Papelbon, the crowd and Manuel weren;t holding their breath. They knew what they would get. A solid 9th inning with no runs scored. And Papelbon delivered. Which is exactly what we are paying him for, and exactly what we need this season.

3.The offense still needs work.
The offense still needs work. Without Utley or Howard, the offense is nothing to be feared. The Phillies already had a fearsome rotation, but they need to rely on it even more now that their 2 star offensive players are out. And other players will need to step up. Will the offense run solely through Howard and Utley? No. But unless Hunter Pence and others can pick it up, there are going to be a lot of tense, low scoring games for the Phillies this season.

So how do the Phillies look this season? They are 1-0. And they can only go up from here. Will they go 162-0? No. Will they win the NL East? Yes. With their pitching, both starters and bullpen, the Phillies are still a force in the NL East. And no one will beat them. It will be closer than years past, but not by much. I might be optimistic here, but I'll give my win total prediction for the regular season. And this win total will win the NL East.

97 wins.


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