The Phillies return with the core group intact in their quest to repeat, led by NL MVP Jimmy Rollins, who followed up his correct "team to beat" prediction in 2007 by suggesting that the Phillies will win "100 games," something they've done twice in the 124-year history of the franchise. Support comes from two perennial MVP candidates in 2006 winner Ryan Howard and second baseman Chase Utley, who made his first All-Star team last season.
"Spring Training is different from the regular season, when we want to win each day. We're still trying, and still want to win [Spring Training games], but we're also looking past the game results and trying to look at the pitchers who are here and trying to determine who might have a chance to help us [at some point during the season]. I want us to stay loose and play the right way. If we do that, we're going to be OK."Pitching matchup
WAS: LHP Matt Chico (7-9, 4.63 ERA in 2007)
Chico, who showed flashes of brilliance amid a rocky rookie season with Washington, makes his first Opening Day start.
PHI: RHP Brett Myers (5-7, 21 saves, 4.33 ERA in 2007)
Myers returns from the closer role he enjoyed last season to make his second straight Opening Day start. The right-hander is being counted on for at least 200 innings and must provide a devastating 1-2 punch with Cole Hamels.
The Phillies have a 56-67-2 record on Opening Day. The two ties came in back-to-back seasons -- 1923 at Brooklyn and 1924 vs. Boston. ... In 1907, the New York Giants forfeited the opener to the Phillies at the Polo Grounds. ... Twelve openers have gone extra innings, including last season. Edgar Renteria won it for the Braves in that game -- on April 2 -- with a 10th-inning home run. On the Internet
Official game notes On television
WPHT 1210 AM
Wednesday: Nationals (Tim Redding, 3-6, 3.64) at Phillies (Cole Hamels, 15-5, 3.39), 7:05 p.m. ET
Thursday: Nationals (Jason Bergmann, 6-6, 4.45) at Phillies (Jamie Moyer, 14-12, 5.01), 1:05 p.m. ET
Friday: Reds (TBA) at Phillies (Kyle Kendrick, 10-4, 3.87), 7:10 p.m. ET
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.