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Tag Archives: Opening Day

Mayberry Shines in Back-to-Back Opening Days

Phillies LF John Mayberry makes a catch at the wall in the 5th inning off the bat of Pittsburgh's Clint Barmes. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Since 2009 when John Mayberry got his first taste as a Phillie he knew that he would do whatever it would take to get back on the big league roster.

A few seasons removed from that, Mayberry has found himself a lock for the Opening Day roster the last two seasons. And he’s starting to make a trend of coming big in those first games of the season.

In the 2011 opener at home, Mayberry completed a three-run 9th inning come back when he ripped a pinch-hit walk-off single over the head of Astros centerfielder Michael Bourn.

There were no late-game heroics yesterday but Mayberry made his presence in the line up known throughout the game.

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Doc Blanks Bucs on Opening Day

Phillies SP Roy Halladay allowed two hits and four base runners through eight scoreless innings as the Phillies won 1-0 on Opening Day in Pittsburgh. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The Phillies couldn’t have asked for a more masterful outing from their Ace of Aces.

Roy Halladay gave up two singles in the first inning, the only two hits he would allow all game as his beautiful Opening Day outing allowed the Phillies offense to get away with scoring only one run all day.

The Phillies and Pirates took a scoreless tie into the 7th inning. After a one-0ut single by Ty Wigginton, John Mayberry followed up with a double down the right field line to put runners on second and third.

Carlos Ruiz skied one to shallow right field and Jose Tabata’s slightly high throw allowed Wigginton to score. It was the only run Pirates starter Erik Bedard would allow through seven innings.

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Series Preview: at Pittsburgh Pirates

PHI: 102-60, 1st in NL East in 2011; PIT: 72-90, 4th in NL Central in 2011

When: April 5-9
Where: PNC Park (Pittsburgh, PA)

Probable Pitchers (2011 stats)
Thursday: Roy Halladay (19-6; 2.35) vs Erik Bedard (8-8, 4.03 with Boston)
Saturday: Cliff Lee (17-8; 2.40) vs. Jeff Karstens (9-9; 3.38)
Sunday: Vance Worley (11-3; 3.01) vs. James McDonald (9-9; 4.21)

Broadcast Info
Thursday, 1:35, MLBN
Saturday, 7:05, CSN
Sunday, 1:35, PHL 17
All Games on 97.5 FM Read more of this post

A Dream Come True For Savery

RP Joe Savery. (Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images)

The road wasn’t easy for pitcher Joe Savery.

In fact, the same time last year Savery wasn’t even referred to as a pitcher. But that doesn’t matter now to Savery.

He summed it up with one word yesterday shortly after finding out that he did make the team: “Unbelievable.”

The story is in fact unbelievable.

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Savery, Orr Finalize Roster

The Phillies used their final game of the spring, a 7-2 win over the Pirates at home to finalize their opening day roster.

The final two spots wenttoo utility infielder Pete Orr and lefty reliever Joe Savery.

Here is the Phillies 25-man roster, which will be lacking Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Michael Martinez and Jose Contreras. All four will start the season on the DL.

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Phils Announce Rotation 2.0

The fans who got tickets for the home opener were given a real treat today.

The Phillies announced their starting rotation for the season. And in a move popular with many, the lefties will be split like last season.

Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Vance Worley will take the mound for the Phillies in their opening series against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. That means Cole Hamels will pitch in the home opener on April 9 against the Miami Marlins, a real treat for the fans.

Joe Blanton’s first start could be skipped. He’s slated to pitch April 11 but with there being a day off on April 6, Halladay could make his second start on that date.

On March 14, I wrote about how it would be a good idea for the Phillies to split the lefties, keeping a balance in the rotation while maintaining a clear advantage against opposing teams in every series.

Predicting the 25-man roster for Opening Day

From left to right: IF Pete Orr, LHP Jake Diekman and 2B/SS Freddy Galvis.

It’s about that time of year again when Opening Day approaches and speculations about the roster arise.

In a perfect world, there are no injuries and this guessing game is easy. But for the Phillies, they don’t live in a perfect world.

Instead, their two best players are starting the season on the disabled list – combining for $35 million out of the line up in Pittsburgh. Their top middle infield utility player broke his foot during Spring Training and a couple of the relievers don’t appear to be in regular season form.

It leaves the door wide open for a handful of spots on the Opening Day roster, and here is a look at who will be dressing on April 5.

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Could the end be near for Utley?

(Yong Kim/Philly Inquirer)

“World Champions… World f***ing champions!”

It’s incredible to think that three and half years removed from those five words proclaimed on Halloween 2008, the man who once said them is a shell of his former self.

A 29-year-old Chase Utley was on the top of the world. Two days removed from winning the World Series, the first of its kind in 28 years in the City of Brotherly Love, “The Man,” as proclaimed by Harry Kalas and the Philadelphia fanbase, had even bigger plans in the coming years.

They were supposed to win again in 2009. They were supposed to add one of the best rotations of all time to their high-powered offense. This was a dynasty in the making and Utley was the face of it all.

But that never happened. And now, it may be over a lot sooner than hoped for.

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Utley leaves camp; still having knee problems

Phillies 2B Chase Utley (right) with C Brian Schneider. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Chase Utley has left Clearwater without playing a single at-bat for the Philadelphia Phillies. This has finally created cause for concern that the 33-year-old may not even make the Opening Day roster.

The released a statement today that read:

“Chase’s rehab process has come to a bit of a plateau. He has made some strides but not enough to take the field. He is headed out of town for a few days to be evaluated by a specialist that has helped athletes overcome his issue. We anticipate that this trip will allow him to build on what he has already done with Scott Sheridan in order to get over the hump. He wants more than anything to be on the field with his teammates and we believe that this is a step in that direction.”

The “issue” at hand isn’t being disclosed, a red flag in the Phillies’ statement.

Utley suffered patellar tendinitis last season, a chronic knee condition that is going to bother him for the rest of his career. It’s been too severe for him to handle so far this spring, and it’s a wonder if this is something that’s going to shorten his career in pinstripes.

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2011 Moment: #9 Opening Day Heroics

Phils pinch hitter John Mayberry drives in the game-winning run with a single to score Ben Francisco. (Photo by John Russo)

The fans knew it was over as soon as the ball left John Mayberry Jr’s bat.

Perhaps it was the fact the Phils had the bases loaded with one out that forced Astros center fielder Michael Bourn to play shallow. But the moment Mayberry ripped a screamer to center with the game tied 4-4 in the 9th, the fans knew it was over Bourn’s head and the game was over.

Mayberry’s winner wouldn’t have been made possible if it weren’t for the Phils showing resiliency in their first action of the 2011 season.

Brett Myers had been dominating the Phils through the first seven innings, holding them two only two runs on three hits.

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