Opening day 20 years ago looked mighty depressing for the Phillies

Good lord….look at this absolute DRECK that the Phillies smeared across the faces of their fans on opening day in 1998.

Passenger manifestos for crashed airline flights are less depressing than Philadelphia’s 1998 opening day lineup.

I don’t remember one detail of this Mark Lewis guy. You could have told me he played second base for the Philadelphia team on the NES classic Bases Loaded and I would have believed it. Whoever it was, I don’t think he had a historic run for the Fightins.

What was the average attendance per game this season? 8,000? 7,000? Did they let fans pinch hit in the later innings?

For historic reference, they lost 1-0 that day against the Mets on their way to a less than scintillating 75-win season. Here’s the description of the opening day game by Wikipedia. It does not sound like a thrilling time.

The first game of the Phillies season was an unforgettable opening day game at Shea Stadium against their division rival New York Mets. Both of them were involved in the longest scoreless opening day game in the National League and the longest one in the MLB since 1926 when the Washington Senators beat the Philadelphia Athletics 1–0 in 15 innings.

The Phillies lost in the 14th inning. That sounds about right.

Compare that lineup with today’s projected lineup against the Braves.

Projected Opening Day lineup
1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Carlos Santana, 1B
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Rhys Hoskins, LF
5. Nick Williams, RF
6. Maikel Franco, 3B
7. Jorge Alfaro, C
8. Aaron Nola, P
9. J.P. Crawford, SS

Now I feel better. 86 wins for this team feels about right, plus all-star seasons from Rhys Hoskins and Carlos Santana seems appropriate.

Philadelphia sports are on the upswing, so it’s time for Gabe Kapler to back up all of his “Be Bold” talk and lead this team to the postseason.

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