Phillies Analysis

8 wild facts about Phillies home season openers

One more day until season 142 of Phillies baseball.

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A day delayed by Mother Nature, the Phillies will open Season No. 142 in franchise history Friday afternoon against the Atlanta Braves. Expectations are sky-high, and the players are ready to finish what they started and get to the World Series, and win it this time.

To whet your appetite for the opener, here is a little rainy day reading, and some fun Phillies facts related to their season openers.

1.The Phillies don’t have the best track record on opening day, with an all-time record of 63-76-2 (.453), which is actually worse than their all-time winning percentage (.473). The only current teams with a worse winning percentage on Opening Day are the Padres (.429), the Rangers (.413), the Marlins (.387), and the Royals (.364).

2. This season is the 32nd in Phillies history that they will get things started against the Braves – that’s more than any other team and 22.7% of all of their openers all-time. Entering Friday’s showdown, the Phils are 16-14-1 against the team who has changed names more than a career conman.

Beginning in 1888, the Phillies have battled the Boston Beaneaters, the Boston Doves (1909), the Boston Braves, the Boston Bees, the Boston Braves again, and finally, the Atlanta edition.

3. The Phillies have opened at home 65 times (27-37-1), and have losing records in every stadium they’ve played in, except one:

  • Recreation Park (1883-1886) – 1-2 record
  • Baker Bowl (1887-1938) – 9-17-1
  • Shibe Park/Connie Mack Stadium (1939-1970) – 10-4
  • Veterans Stadium (1971-2003) – 2-8
  • Citizens Bank Park (2004-present) – 5-6

4. Four of their 27 wins in season openers at home coming in walkoff fashion:

  • April 1, 2021 vs Braves: Jean Segura RBI single in the 10th inning scored Bryce Harper (ghost-runner) to win 3-2.
  • April 1, 2011 vs Astros: John Mayberry RBI single scores Ben Francisco. Phillies score 3 in 9th on six singles to win 5-4.
  • April 6, 1974 vs Mets: Mike Schmidt 2-run home run off Tug McGraw (!) gives Phils a 5-4 win.
  • April 12, 1916 vs NY Giants (at the Baker Bowl): What a finish. With two outs in a 4-4 game, Milt Stock draws a walk, steals second, and scores on a pair of wild pitches from Ralph “Sailor” Stroud for a 5-4 win.

5. For the first time since 2017, Aaron Nola will not be the Phillies’ Opening Day starting pitcher. Nola’s six OD starts are surpassed in team history only by Hall of Famers Steve Carlton (14) and Robin Roberts (12).

6. Despite Carlton’s place in MLB history as one of the greats, he didn’t show his best to begin the season. In fact, no pitcher in history has more losses in season openers as Lefty, with nine. Roberts is tied for second all-time with seven, six of them with the Phillies.

7. Roberts ranks second in MLB history in most home runs allowed in his career (505) and allowed 12 in 12 Opening Day starts with the Phillies. But the Phillies pitcher who allowed the most dingers in an opener? Cole Hamels in 2015, when he was taken deep by Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez, and Dustin Pedroia twice in an 8-0 loss to the Red Sox.

8. We’ll close it with an obscure one. The only Phillies player in history to steal two bases in a season opener? How about that Ben Revere, way back in 2014 in a 14-10 barnburner against the Rangers.

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