So is there anything we can glean from Manuel’s nine opening days? Is there any type of foreshadowing in Game 1 that will give us some type of focus on what to expect this year?
After the 7-5 loss in Atlanta on Monday night, Manuel is 4-5 in season openers. In two of those opening day defeats, the Phillies amazingly recovered in time to go all the way to the World Series. Moreover, the Phillies are 2-6 in the opening series of the season during Manuel’s run as manager.
Twice during this run, the Phillies have been swept in the opening series and twice they started the season with a 1-6 record. Yet in both of those years the Phillies went to the playoffs.
Manuel also has had six different opening day third basemen with the Phillies.
Again, there’s nothing really to learn here other than it a fun little exercise to look back and see how the season progressed from the first couple days of the season.
Charlie Manuel’s Opening Days
2005: 8-4 win over Washington at Citizens Bank Park
A 3-for-3 game for Pat Burrell and a three-run homer by Kenny Lofton delivered the win to starting pitcher Jon Lieber. The Phillies’ offense bludgeoned the Nationals with 12 singles and two extra-base hits.
2006: 13-5 loss against St. Louis at Citizens Bank Park
Jon Lieber’s second straight opening day start didn’t go as well as the first one. The Cardinals’ Albert Pujols belted a pair of home runs and fan favorite Scott Rolen hit a grand slam. The Phillies pounded out 14 hits, including three from Chase Utley and homers from Pat Burrell and Ryan Howard.
2007: 5-3 loss against Atlanta at Citizens Bank Park
Brett Myers was cruising with a 3-2 lead in the eighth inning when Edgar Renteria tied it with a two-out solo shot. Renteria won the game in the 10th with a two-run blast off Ryan Madson
2008: 11-6 loss against Washington at Citizens Bank Park
The Phillies jumped out to a quick, 2-0 lead only to watch the Nats crawl back and tie it at 6. Headed into the ninth, Manuel called for closer Tom Gordon who faced six batters and allowed five runs.
Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins had a pair of hits, including homers, for the Phillies.
2009: 4-1 loss to Atlanta at Citizens Bank Park
Derek Lowe spun a two-hitter over eight innings and the Braves roughed up Brett Myers for three homers as the Phillies dropped their fourth straight opening day game.
2010: 11-1 win over Washington at Nationals Park
Brett Myers’ string of three straight opening day starts was snapped by the Phillies’ debut of Roy Halladay. The new Phillies’ ace went seven innings and struck out nine as Ryan Howard capped off a big fourth inning with a long home run into the second deck in right-center.
Placido Polanco, in his first game back with the Phillies since being traded away in 2005, hit a grand slam and drove in six runs.
2011: 5-4 win over Houston at Citizens Bank Park
Yet another opening day start at the Bank for Brett Myers. Only this time he was facing the Phillies and Roy Halladay and was again victimized by a late-inning rally.
The Phillies scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth on six singles with John Mayberry knocking in the game-winner with one out off closer Brandon Lyon.
2012: 1-0 win over Pittsburgh at PNC Park
Carlos Ruiz went 3 for 3 and drove home the only run of the game during the seventh inning as Roy Halladay tossed a two-hitter over eight innings. In his Phillies’ debut, closer Jonathan Papelbon needed just 10 pitches to throw a perfect ninth.
2013: 7-5 loss against Atlanta at Turner Field
Cole Hamels finally got to start on opening day and it didn’t go as well as hoped. Hamels allowed three homers in five innings for the loss even though the Phils’ offense knocked Braves’ starter Tim Hudson out in the fourth inning.
Chase Utley had three hits, falling just a double shy of the cycle, and drove in three runs.