The Phillies hadn’t been in a position where the hype was so high. With the season getting underway, there was plenty to be excited about. The offense had looked to be improved, with new additions in Placido Polanco, and the newest ace to the Phillies’ staff, in Roy Halladay, people couldn’t wait to get their first look at this version of the Phillies. Needless to say, with the Washington Nationals standing small against the mighty Phillies, this was no contest.
Things appeared to be going wrong early on, as an early Nationals’ run seemed to derail all that was planned for the first game. But, later, Ryan Howard blasted his first homer of 2010, and Placido Polanco made his presence known with a grand slam, as the offense cruised to an 11-1 victory over the Nationals. Halladay was a story as well, finishing with seven innings of one-run ball, and making as good a debut as we could have imagined.
Call this a table-setter, as the Phillies’ season went a lot like this. The Phillies were on their way to the best record in baseball on that April afternoon, and used the pitching and offense, when they had it, to get there. For the Phillies’ season opener, there wasn’t a better way to open the season, and it looked as though the players had the same hype the fans did, by putting everything into this first game, and making it memorable. Every single player had some contribution to the win, and it started a journey that was perfect for the longest time, then so suddenly ended.
Regardless, this game ranks because of the hype, and the Phillies’ ability to answer the hype with a dominant win. It’s not often a sports team rises to the occasion, especially that early in the season, and since the Phillies aren’t exactly baseball’s best team in April, the win was an unexpected surprise. The Phils hadn’t won an Opening Day game since 2005, and they had won this one in a big way. In a game that lacked the drama, but was full of energy from start to finish, there wasn’t a bad part to the game, and with the Phillies doing all of the scoring from the fourth inning on, while Doc cruised to his first of 21 wins, it was the perfect opening to the season.