It’s the Year of the Pitcher, Round Three. In the Phillies season-opening 1-0 win over the Pirates, Roy Halladay and Erik Bedard kicked off the year with a duel and, of course, runs were hard to come by.
Halladay was virtually unhittable, although Pirates left fielder Alex Presley led off the game with a single. Charlie Manuel made the move to pull Doc after eight innings, two hits, no walks, and five strikeouts. The only blemishes; two hit batsmen. He threw only 92 pitches, but Charlie decided to go to the $50 million closer, Jonathan Papelbon. I wasn’t on board with the move – why take out the best pitcher in the game while he’s cruising? – but, it worked. Pap recorded his first save as a Phillie.
Erik Bedard did all he could for the Pirates, but they just could not score on Halladay. Bedard went seven innings, allowed six hits and fanned four. The only run for the Phillies came in the seventh inning during a mini-rally.
Ty Wigginton led off with a single to center field and was moved to third base on a double by John Mayberry. Two guys they need to step up this year to provide something, did. Wigginton then scored on a sac fly to right field by Carlos Ruiz.
How about Chooch! A 3-for-3 day with the lone RBI of the game. He had a day filled with solid at-bats, going the other way a few times. Ruiz hit .500 during Spring Training and that carried right on over to Opening Day.
Mayberry also made several solid plays in the field. A few times he battled the strong Pittsburgh sun to rob base hits near the wall. So. not only did JMJ bust out with a 2-for-4 day, but his defense stood out.
Freddy Galvis had an opportunity to do some damage in the second inning with two on and one out, and again in the fifth with one on and one out, but quickly found out how hard it is to hit in the majors. He promptly ended both possibly rallies with two double-plays. Not exactly the start he wanted.
Offensively, it wasn’t the optimal start to the year for the Phillies. But its good to know Doc is riding high right away.
Tomorrow is an off-day for the Phillies, they’re back on Saturday with Cliff Lee on the hill. So, 162-0 is still within reach.
In addition, David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News says Scott Podsednik will report to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, giving the Phillies plenty of depth.