There is nothing better than opening day when your team has a legitimate chance of going deep in the postseason. Summer nights at the ballpark, enjoying another Phillies win with a $10 cold beer and a $5 hot dog. I know that sounds of sarcasm, but for me, it really sounds like heaven.
Phillies fans have had to endure some bad baseball over the years. There is nothing that makes a summer sports season drag on than having a baseball team that does not have a chance. The Phillies had one of the best runs in recent history from 2007-2012. Nights at the ballpark were electric. McFaddens after games was the place to be. That run showed that Philadelphia was not just a football town.
Sadly, rebuilding was part of the game for our Phillies. The Phillies suffered six straight losing seasons, and Citizens Bank Park seems to have emptied out. Last season, the Phillies played well above what we expected and in doing so brought baseball back. If it wasn’t for a disastrous September, the Phils were right there in the hunt for the division and the wild card. Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be, but the Phils won 80 games, which that hadn’t been that close to a .500 season since 2012.
The Opening Day Lineup:
Matt Klentak has had himself a superb offseason. The acquisitions of Bryce Harper, JT Realmuto, Jean Segura, and Andrew McCutchen has solidified the lineup. According to MLB.com writer Anthony Castrovince, the Phillies have the 4th best lineup in baseball. The subtraction of Carlos Santana has fixed the issue of players playing in the wrong positions. Now, Gabe Kapler doesn’t need to worry about tinkering with the lineup. It is pretty much set. Let the baseball players play and stop relying on what the numbers tell you to do.
The Phillies have the 12th best rotation in baseball according to Fangraphs.com. Aaron Nola is a workhorse and a Cy Young Candidate. Jake Arrieta having had a full spring training under him looks to lock down the #2 spot and hopefully return to his 2015 Cy Young award-winning form. Nick Pivetta will continue to improve. But, The back half of the rotation is still questionable. And we still wonder about Vince Velasquez and Zach Efflin? These are questions that Klentak may have to address? Dave Robertson upgrades and already good bullpen and shouldn’t be a concern for Kapler.
Now, The Phillies open the season against last years NL East Champion Atlanta Braves. Most experts pick The Braves to finish 3rd or 4th in the NL East. The Phils and Mets are picked to be slugging it out for second place behind the Nationals. The NL East is stacked and the Phillies are in the middle of the playoff picture and could very well make a run at the World Series. Either way, we are in for a fun season. I plan on clearing the calendar and taking the family to as many games as possible. See you at the ballpark! #RINGTHEBELL