Phillies Opening Day Trivia

In today’s Opening Day start against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Roy Halladay allowed a paltry four base runners in eight innings of work. He served singles to the first two hitters he faced in the first inning, then held the Pirates hitless the rest of the afternoon. The only two times the Pirates reached base after that was when Halladay hit Andrew McCutchen with a pitch in the fourth inning and Clint Barmes in the eighth.

What does that look like in graph form? The following graph shows how many base runners were on at the time of each at-bat. There’s not a lot to show.

Halladay used his curve 22 times out of his 92 total pitches (24 percent). One of them was this beauty:

Halladay’s game score of 83 is his best Opening Day start of his career, in which he has made ten. The nine prior to today:

Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H ER BB SO HR Pit GSc BF
2010-04-05 PHI WSN W 11-1 GS-7 ,W 7.0 6 1 2 9 0 88 68 27
2011-04-01 PHI HOU W 5-4 GS-6 6.0 5 1 0 6 0 101 64 24
2006-04-04 TOR MIN W 6-3 GS-8 ,W 7.2 5 2 0 4 2 88 63 29
2005-04-04 TOR TBD W 5-2 GS-8 ,W 7.0 9 2 0 7 0 91 58 29
2007-04-02 TOR DET W 5-3 GS-6 6.0 6 2 1 4 0 104 53 26
2008-04-01 TOR NYY L 2-3 GS-7 ,L 7.0 7 3 2 3 1 95 52 27
2009-04-06 TOR DET W 12-5 GS-7 ,W 7.0 6 5 1 2 2 99 46 27
2004-04-05 TOR DET L 0-7 GS-7 ,L 6.2 10 6 2 9 3 111 35 32
2003-03-31 TOR NYY L 4-8 GS-6 ,L 5.2 7 3 4 2 2 103 31 28
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/5/2012.

Additionally, today’s 1-0 win marked the 22nd time the Phillies were held scoreless or to just one run on Opening Day, but just the third time they emerged victorious.

Date W / L RS RA Season Postseason
April 9, 1913 W 1 0 88-63
April 15, 1930 W 1 0 52-102
April 5, 2012 W 1 0 N/A
April 17, 1902 L 0 7 56-81
April 14, 1908 L 1 3 83-71
April 14, 1910 L 0 2 78-75
April 14, 1925 L 1 3 68-85
April 17, 1934 L 1 6 56-93
April 14, 1942 L 1 2 42-109
April 14, 1953 L 1 4 83-71
April 6, 1973 L 0 3 71-91
April 8, 1975 L 1 2 86-76
April 7, 1978 L 1 5 90-72 Division Champ
April 6, 1979 L 1 8 84-78
April 5, 1983 L 0 2 90-72 NL Pennant
April 9, 1985 L 0 6 75-87
April 7, 1987 L 0 6 80-82
April 10, 1990 L 1 2 77-85
April 8, 1991 L 1 2 78-84
March 31, 1998 L 0 1 75-87
April 5, 2004 L 1 2 86-76
April 5, 2009 L 1 4 93-69 NL Pennant

Finally, Freddy Galvis became the 41st player to ground into at least two double plays on Opening Day. With two in his first two at-bats, he had the opportunity to join Albert Pujols as the only players to hit into three, but Galvis was able to avoid joining that infamous club. Pujols accomplished his feat last year on March 31 against the San Diego Padres.

A bit of trivia from the Inquirer’s Matt Gelb:

Phillies Successful Again on Opening Day

When you send Roy Halladay to the hill on Opening Day, your chances are already pretty good. The Phillies are now 3-0 in Halladay’s three Opening Day starts in red pinstripes, his 2012 outing arguably his best showing yet. After allowing two consecutive hits to start the first inning, Halladay went into cruise control, holding the next 25 Pirates he faced hitless and keeping 24 of them off of the bases. He finished the day with eight scoreless innings, five strikeouts, and zero walks. Jonathan Papelbon made his Phillies debut in the ninth, earning the save with a cool ten pitches.

There wasn’t much offense to speak about, whether in Pittsburgh or anywhere else across baseball. The New York Mets were the first team to score a run among any this afternoon — in the sixth inning against the Atlanta Braves. The Phillies eventually broke through in the top of the seventh when Carlos Ruiz hit a line drive to right fielder Jose Tabata, allowing Ty Wigginton to tag up and score from third base. Ruiz finished the day 3-for-3, continuing his torrid pace that began in spring training (.479 average).

John Mayberry made two athletic catches in left field, although his routes were certainly not optimal. His height and natural talent allowed him to make up for a couple bad reads that would have otherwise led to Pirates runs. Mayberry also went 2-for-4 at the dish, including a double that eventually led to the only run of the game.

Freddy Galvis hit into two double plays in his first two Major League plate appearances, killing a threat in the second inning and another one in the fifth. He finished the day 0-for-4, but did look quite capable with the glove at second base.

The Phillies, previously known for their slow April starts, have won three consecutive Opening Day games after losing four consecutively from 2006-09.

Hero of the Game: Roy Halladay, +.572 WPA on the mound

Goat of the Game: Freddy Galvis, -.209 WPA at the plate

(Game graph courtesy FanGraphs.)

Opening Day Game Thread 4/5/12

Opening Day is Christmas for Phillies fans. We have had unhealthy amounts of anticipation and excitement coursing through our bloodstreams for the last four weeks, but it is finally here. Roy Halladay will oppose Erik Bedard of the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park to kick off the 2012 campaign. Halladay is coming off of a season in which he finished second in Cy Young voting to Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The two-time Cy Young award winner is looking to add a third such honor to his overflowing trophy case. Bedard, meanwhile, is looking to keep a clean bill of health. The lefty made 24 starts last year, the most he’s made in any season since 2007, his last year with the Baltimore Orioles. When he’s healthy, he’s very effective — he posted a 3.62 ERA last year with the Seattle Mariners and Boston Red Sox, including an 8.7 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9.

The Pirates were baseball’s Cinderella team last year. They were in first place in the NL Central very briefly at the end of July, but their season took a drastic turn after a dramatic 19-inning loss to the Atlanta Braves on July 26:

The Pirates were 53-47 to that point and the world was their oyster. Including that extra-inning loss, the Pirates went 1-5 to close out July, and then 8-22 in August. They were back in fourth place as quickly as August 7, never to return. Baseball Prospectus doesn’t paint an encouraging picture for their 2012, either, giving them a 1.7 percent chance to reach the post-season and projecting a 73-89 fifth-place record.

However, the Phillies have traditionally struggled at PNC Park. Since 2006, the Phillies are 7-12 in Pittsburgh, including 3-7 in the past three seasons. It is just one small obstacle in what is otherwise a very easy month of April, which includes games against the New York Mets, San Diego Padres, and Chicago Cubs, all teams that finished below .500 last year.

Series at a Glance

Pitching Match-Ups

Opening Day Lineups



Note: The MLB average wOBA in 2011 was .316.

Fun fact about today’s game in which Ty Wigginton starts at first base and John Mayberry will be in left field while Juan Pierre rides the bench:

Use this thread throughout the day to talk about the Phillies and the game.