Yes, opening day is once again upon us, which means another group of twenty-five men have been assembled from the various nooks and crannies of our country. These men grew up places like California, St. Louis, Hawaii, and Florida. All of them away from the passion, and love of a place like Philadelphia.
Some spent the year here last year, bringing a starving city a world championship. Some have been added to increase the club’s chances of winning another. No matter where they came from, or how they got here, they all find themselves charged with a mutual task– repeating.
That long journey begins tonight, as the Phillies open up the 2009 Major League Baseball season against the Atlanta Braves. Brett Myers takes the hill for the Phillies, filling in for Cole Hamels, who needed some extra time to get ready for the season.
Myers struggled last season, he was sent to Triple-A at one point. That does worry pitching coach Rich Dubee, “Brett can have any type of year Brett wants to have,” Dubee told Todd Zolecki. “Really, he’s that talented. If Brett can be the same guy and prepare the same way and take the same mind-set every five days, there’s no reason Brett can’t have a big season.”
The Phillies will look for him to give them a strong start tonight. Atlanta will counter with ace Derek Lowe, who is all too familiar with the Phillies line-up. The only two runs he surrendered during his Game 4 NLCS start came in the first inning, which began with a Rollins single.
“You have to prevent allowing Rollins to get on base to begin an inning,” Lowe said to Mark Bowman. “They have other ways to beat you, but you have to concentrate on making sure he’s not on base when those guys in the middle of their lineup come to the plate.”
Lowe is also anticipating the excitement you fans will bring. “Those fans have no problem telling you how they feel about you,” Lowe said. “There’s going to be a lot of excitement there. They’re going to be raising their [World Series] flag and all that. It’s going to be fun and I’m looking forward to it.”
You can catch the match-up tonight on ESPN 2 or 1210 WPHT-AM. We’ll have more information on the game once the Phillies announce their lineup and release press notes. Happy Opening Day!