OK, we know that March 4 isn’t traditionally known as a holiday but for Phillies Nation it should from this point on be known as a Halladay.
That’s right -- the Roy Halladay era in red pinstripes begins Thursday when the Phightins' new ace faces the Bronx Bombers in the official Spring Training opener (sorry we don’t count Wednesday’s game against college kids).
Yes, it’s only Spring Training and it’s still more than four weeks away from when the Phightins open the regular season at D.C. but this is the first chance fans will get to see the mighty Doc. (The game will air on Comcast Sports Net.)
Halladay took a discount (even though he still getting paid about $20 million a year) to come to Philly for one reason -- the righty wants to win. Halladay will immediately get a chance to show that he can handle that pressure when he faces the World Champion Yankees at 1:05 at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla.
Not only will Halladay toe the rubber for the Phillies but also the Phils will be facing CC Sabathia.
What should fans expect?
"Pitching is being able to focus on the task at hand regardless of circumstances surrounding the game," Halladay told Phillies.com about facing the Yankees. "It's a good way to start when you're trying to get yourself ready to start a season."
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Expect a few innings from both aces as they work towards getting into game shape. And, by the seventh innings expect to see a bunch of guys out there who you’ve never heard of out there trying to make an impression.
But, for the first few innings this could be not only a rematch of the Fall Classic but a possible preview.