The Phillies dropped the 2013 season opener in Atlanta to the Braves by a score of 7-5, behind an uncharacteristically-shaky outing from Cole Hamels. Hamels allowed five runs on three home runs in five innings of work and didn’t look very sharp, as Paul Boye pointed out:
By the time you read this, Cole Hamels will have taken the mound against the Atlanta Braves, a soulless, bland team that plays in a soulless, bland stadium filled with soulless, bland people. Perhaps in an effort to fit in, Hamels has relieved himself of something that, for a weekend, captured the imagination of a city and brought laughter and mirth to a nation of fans filled with self-doubt.
Because when MLB Network, carrying the Philadelphia broadcast of Friday night’s game, showed Hamels in the dugout, his upper lip blooming like the cherry blossoms of Washington, D.C., it set off a ripple of ecstatic hysteria that reached across national borders.
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Having had anywhere from two to four legitimate aces in the starting rotation over the last four seasons, it is easy to forget that pitching wasn’t always the Phillies’ forte. Between the bookends of Curt Schilling and Roy Halladay, the Phillies gave Opening Day starts to Andy Ashby, Omar Daal, Robert Person, Kevin Millwood, Jon Lieber, and Brett Myers. And unlike Halladay’s ace-like performance in the openers of each of the last three seasons, the Phillies haven’t always seen such sterling outings.
Below is a list of the worst Opening Day starts (using game score) by Phillies pitchers dating back to 1916.