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.)