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.)

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6 comments

  1. Harry

    April 05, 2012 08:39 PM

    Tom McCarthy might have been more successful than Halladay today. His laugh was 10-for-10 in making me cringe. +.997 Cringe Probability Added

  2. Tom

    April 06, 2012 07:53 AM

    My resolution to give Mc another chance has already failed. I just can’t stand him. I’m sorry.

  3. Richard Hershberger

    April 06, 2012 09:13 AM

    I don’t think it is fair to characterize Galvis as the goat of the game. Pence also went 0 for 4. Yes, Galvis left five men on base, compared with Pence’s three, but Galvis capably fielded his position, which is what he was hired to do. Had it been Pence who left five on base, would we be calling him the goat? I think Galvis’s sin was playing into expectations. Or, to put it another way, why do we need to designate a goat of the game, especially in a win?

  4. Bill Baer

    April 06, 2012 09:54 AM

    Galvis had the lowest WPA of anyone in the game. In other words, he did the most to hurt the Phillies’ chances of winning. Since that bit was based on WPA, Galvis was the goat. :)

  5. Phillie697

    April 06, 2012 10:11 AM

    What does it matter? Is Galvis a family member or something? Sometimes I really don’t understand why people take these things so personally. It’s almost as if the entire society is adverse to criticism.

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