Opening day is out of the way. Certainly the outcome wasn’t what everyone wanted, unless you were a St. Louis fan.
Once again, the weather wasn’t the best for a Phillies opener. Plenty of sunshine on Saturday and Sunday was followed by a cloudy Monday. Weather forecasters predicted rain around 3 o’clock, which was game time. Steady rain followed by thunderstorms was in the mix thereafter.
The forecasters batted .000 for the afternoon. Drops did begin to fall shortly before 3:00 but they stopped and the afternoon was rain free. Rain would have come in handy after the Cardinals scored eight times in the fourth to go up 10-0. No such luck.
Opening day typically means something special for the fans. This year the Phillies paraded in from center field between two rows of fans. It was the wrap-up for the “Paint the Town Red Week.” The fans wore red, the players walked on red carpet and a red Phanatic led the parade. “That was pretty cool,” exclaimed Cory Lidle upon reaching the dugout.
For those who suffered a psychological problem because the Phanatic was red, he returned to his normal green later that day. Relax, all is well again.
A tradition for Phillies openers is a group of military personnel parachuting into the ballpark. This year it was the United States Falling Angels Skydiving Team. While standing on the field, you see an airplane out of which men are jumping. They appear to be so far away that they surely will never make it to the park. By golly, one by one, they land on the green grass. There are many things in life I can’t do, and that is one of them.
In introducing the starting lineup, we made a change. Normally, you begin with the leadoff hitter and wind up with the pitcher and catcher, batting eighth and ninth, respectively, out in the bullpen. This time, we started with the ninth place hitter and worked toward the leadoff hitter, Jimmy Rollins. Idea was to build some momentum.
Rollins, riding a historic 36-game hitting streak, managed to keep the streak alive in a dramatic way—doubling down the right field line in his last at-bat (eighth inning) and a 3-0 count. It marked the eighth time that he extended the streak in his final at-bat.
The game? The good news is that it only counts as one loss. The 13 runs were the most the Phillies allowed in a season opener dating back to April 12, 1927, when they lost to the New York Giants, 15-7, at Baker Bowl. Wonder what color the Phanatic was on that date.