We’ve waited a long time for this day, it’s April 1st, 2013 and it’s the Phillies Opening Day for the season that must pundits admit may be an uphill battle for the team. Don’t tell any of the Phillies players though, because they don’t want to hear all that rhetoric that they are now too old to win it all.
The season starts on the road for the Phillies this year, once again. The Phils open up in Atlanta, Georgia against a team that many have to contend for the NL East that of course is the Atlanta Braves. The Braves won 94 games last year, and it was enough to get them in a 1 game play off game for the Wild Card spot against the hungry St. Louis Cardinals.
In previous years (prior to last year), the Braves wouldn’t have had to play any other team for the Wild Card spot, as it would have been their only ticket they needed to get to the Division playoffs with the 94 wins they earned last season. Last year was different though, and they played well enough but had to play just one more game to see what team would actually get the Wild Card spot since the MLB added the Wild Card playoff game to the playoffs format.
In effect, the Braves got the short end of what the MLB did with adding a second Wild Card to the mix last year, when St. Louis went on the beat the Braves in that single game format for the Wild Card. That kind of result points out the absurdity of adding that single game elimination to the mix after the Braves turned in such a marvelous season with 94 wins and the Cards that won 88 games, the Braves just lost all of that because of the outcome of that single game Wild Card elimination game.
The season for them is a new one, and the Phillies seem ready to do battle with this team sending Cole Hamels to the mound for what is going to be his first Opening Day pitching assignment. Cole has turned in a marvelous Spring Training and as of the weekend sported a mustache to fuel what should be a lot of fun with the baseball pundits that like to rank mustaches and beards among players, and make a really big deal of it.
Mustaches aside, can the Phillies get off to a great start by beating the Braves in Game 1 of a 162 game season? Of course they can, the Phillies aren’t ready to retire to the ‘old age’ home anytime soon, and players like Ryan Howard have taken issue with comments that the Phillies are now too old to win it all.
If the Phillies are to be successful, the contributions of the rising star of Dom Brown must be made known. Brown has had a great start in Spring Training, but that’s only exhibition baseball, and it only really counts in games that are real, a first game like we’ll see at 7:05 PM tonight in Atlanta. Other contributions must be made by the core players of the Phillies as well. Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Jimmy Rollins are the keys to the Phillies and they need to start showing us that they are healthy and ready to win.
The 25 man team roster of the Phillies have been set, an exciting player in Darin Ruf has been sent down to the minors when his offense could have jump started a Phillies team that desperately needed it from the moribund numbers that they turned in last year. The Phillies have been keeping a lot of their brightest prospects under wraps for entirely too long, and Ruf is a prime example of this.
The Phils 25 man roster for Opening Day 2013:
This is the 131st season for Phillies baseball since it all started back in 1883, the Phillies have won it all only twice in 130 years, so for those of us that were lucky enough to see them win it back in 1980 and again in 2008- we can consider ourselves in a very lucky group of people, that tells you how rare it has been for the Phillies to win the World Series.
Here’s how the Phillies have done since the year 2000, with an interesting comparison of the team’s average ages of batters and pitchers over the years (2013 will be updated after the first game tonight):
|1||2013||Philadelphia Phillies||0||0||0||3rd of 5||0.0||0.0|
|2||2012||Philadelphia Phillies||162||81||81||.500||3rd of 5||31.1||29.1|
|3||2011||Philadelphia Phillies||162||102||60||.630||1st of 5||Lost LDS (3-2)||31.4||29.2|
|4||2010||Philadelphia Phillies||162||97||65||.599||1st of 5||Lost NLCS (4-2)||31.8||31.1|
|5||2009||Philadelphia Phillies||162||93||69||.574||1st of 5||Lost WS (4-2)||31.3||31.2|
|6||2008||Philadelphia Phillies||162||92||70||.568||1st of 5||Won WS (4-1)||30.1||30.6|
|7||2007||Philadelphia Phillies||162||89||73||.549||1st of 5||Lost LDS (3-0)||28.8||30.6|
|8||2006||Philadelphia Phillies||162||85||77||.525||2nd of 5||29.3||30.5|
|9||2005||Philadelphia Phillies||162||88||74||.543||2nd of 5||30.0||29.7|
|10||2004||Philadelphia Phillies||162||86||76||.531||2nd of 5||29.3||29.8|
|11||2003||Philadelphia Phillies||162||86||76||.531||3rd of 5||28.3||29.0|
|12||2002||Philadelphia Phillies||161||80||81||.497||3rd of 5||27.5||28.5|
|13||2001||Philadelphia Phillies||162||86||76||.531||2nd of 5||26.9||28.9|
|14||2000||Philadelphia Phillies||162||65||97||.401||5th of 5||28.5||28.7|