Opening Day is one of the best days of the year. Anticipation and excitement lead up to the first official game of the season. A new year means new hopes, dreams, and memories.
For the Phillies, their expectations were higher than ever. They were coming off a year in which they had the most wins in franchise history. Most of the team was returning, and they added a big-name closer in Jonathan Papelbon. When the season opened, the only thing holding them back was the injuries to Ryan Howard and Chase Utley.
The Phillies opened the season on April 5th in Pittsburgh. Roy Halladay tossed a gem: 8 shutout innings. He only allowed two hits and struck out five. Carlos Ruiz went 3-for-3, driving in the only run of the game. Jonathan Papelbon closed the game with a 1-2-3 save. It was the perfect start to the season. It was just how Phillies fans hoped the season would kick off. Opening Day was supposed to be an indication of how the rest of the season would go: smoothly, and without any troubles.
Unfortunately, things turned for the worst for the Phillies. But at the time, Opening Day created a positive energy for the season. Baseball and the Phillies were back; what’s better than that?
Phillies Nation writer Ryan Dinger summed up Opening Day nicely: “I felt going with Doc’s opening day victory may be poetic. After all, I don’t think I felt better about the season at any moment than I did after that first win. As they say, it was all down [hill] from there.”
Photos from the annual Phillies Nation tailgate party: