It's a brand new Phillies season and once again it will be Brett Myers taking the hill on opening day at Citizens Bank Park! The only difference is that this time he'll be wearing a Houston Astros uniform... and he'll be opposing Roy Halladay. As will be the case pretty much all season, there's not a single pitching matchup in this series that won't favor the Phillies rather heavily.
Game one as we said is Halladay vs Myers. Game two will pit Cliff Lee against Wandy Rodriguez while the final game of the series will see another ex Phil JA Happ facing the guy he was traded for, Roy Oswalt. The fourth head of the monster, Cole Hamels, will have to wait until April 5th to make his first start against the New York Mets.
There will be two major changes in the Phils' starting lineup from last season. Ben Francisco won the right field job to replace Jayson Werth, after Francisco had a big spring and uber prospect Domonic Brown broke something called a hamate bone. Brown should be back before April is over. If the right handed Francisco can carry over the momentum from his strong spring, the loss of Werth could be seriously minimized. If Domonic Brown gets back and is the player everyone expects him to be... no one will care that Werth is gone.
The most obvious and talked about absence from this year's starting lineup is of course Chase Utley. Utley is still sitting out with the knee injury that no one seems to know when or if it will ever heal. In the meantime, Wilson Valdez will act as
a huge dropoff his replacement. Valdez is useful with the glove, but his bat represents a big hole in Utley's absence.
It's going to be freezing cold at the ballpark this afternoon with rain and snow expected all day. There should be a window from late morning to late afternoon where the precipitation is expected to stop, so the game should be able to go as scheduled. Just bundle up...