Charles Dickens’ famous opening line to his novel “A Tale of Two Cities” about London and Paris during the French Revolution could easily describe the Phillies 2012 season so far, if you change it to Pittsburgh and Philadelphia instead.
The Phillies opened on the road to kick off the season last Thursday with a 1-0 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Opening on the road allows them a much-anticipated second opening day in front of their own home crowd, and with a Cole Hamels on the mound, which unfortunately ended up as a disappointing 6-2 loss on Monday afternoon.
The sold out crowd was electrifying during the pregame ceremonies, and right up until the start of the game when the Miami Marlins, the Phillies biggest division competitor, took a quick lead and never looked back. Phillies fans didn’t get much to cheer about until the 7th inning when newcomer Freddy Galvis hit a clutch double, his first major league hit, to score the team’s only two runs.
In the first four games, the Phillies who won a record 102 games last season, have scored only eight runs. That’s not going to be enough to get the job done. Still, the optimist in me remembers that the Phillies record in at PNC Park is dismal at best, since they always struggle in games against the Pirates in Pittsburgh, and on opening days in general. The pessimist in me was frustrated and almost bored by the fourth inning, and had to force myself watch the rest of the game.
It’s certainly not time to write them off yet with only 4 games into a 162 game season, or for fair-weather fans to jump off the bandwagon (and you know who you are), but it is time for the offense to find its spark before it does get too late.
Wednesday night, Roy Halladay takes the mound against the Marlin’s ace Josh Johnson. I do have confidence that Halladay can hold back the Marlin’s hitters, but the Phillies will need to score at least one against Johnson to get the job done. And sometimes that one run is the hardest to get, especially for a team struggling with their offense.