Thursday, September 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

It's opening day

WASHINGTON -- Happy opening day, everyone. We've made it into Nationals Park -- if not for a fairly intense bag check and pat down at the media gate. (You know, the president is coming to throw out the first pitch.)

It's opening day

WASHINGTON -- Happy opening day, everyone. We've made it into Nationals Park -- if not for a fairly intense bag check and pat down at the media gate. (You know, the president is coming to throw out the first pitch.)

Roy Halladay will make what is perhaps the most anticipated debut in Phillies history. It is his eighth start on opening day and he didn't exactly have great success in his previous seven starts with Toronto. Consider:

2009: 7 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 K -- W
2008: 7 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K -- L
2007: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K -- ND
2006: 7.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K -- W
2005: 7 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K -- W
2004: 6.2 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 9 K -- L
2003: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 K -- L

That equates to a 3-3 record with a 4.40 ERA. The strikeout numbers are low over the past four years and that's probably the number that jumps out the most. Pitchers will rarely have their best stuff early in the season. In fact, Halladay's worst month of his career (by far) is March/April. In 55 career games in March/April, Halladay has a 4.13 ERA. His career ERA overall is 3.43.

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But that was another life for Halladay, who will pitch today under the biggest circumstances of his career to date. And it's only opening day.

We're expecting a festive atmosphere. The president will be here. It's a sellout (thanks to busloads of Phillies fans, apparently). It's a beautiful day with temperatures expected to reach the mid-70s.

And it's finally real baseball that counts.

The lineups for Game 1:

Phillies
1. Jimmy Rollins 6
2. Placido Polanco 5
3. Chase Utley 4
4. Ryan Howard 3
5. Jayson Werth 9
6. Raul Ibanez 7
7. Shane Victorino 8
8. Carlos Ruiz 2
9. Roy Halladay 1

Nationals
1. Nyjer Morgan 8
2. Willie Harris 9
3. Ryan Zimmerman 5
4. Adam Dunn 3
5. Josh Willingham 7
6. Adam Kennedy 4
7. Ivan Rodriguez 2
8. Ian Desmond 6
9. John Lannan 1

We'll be with you all day on The Phillies Zone. For instant updates, follow me on Twitter (@magelb).

Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
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The place for up-to-the-minute Phillies coverage from The Inquirer beat writer Matt Gelb and columnist Bob Brookover.

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