04/05/12 6:06 PM ET
Papelbon perfect in first save with Phillies
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
"He was out there," Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon said. "Did you see him?"
Cinco Ocho is Papelbon's alter ego on the mound, and he did the job in a 1-0 victory over the Pirates. Papelbon threw 10 fastballs -- nine for strikes -- getting one strikeout and two groundouts to convert his first save for the Phillies after spending the last six seasons as the Red Sox closer. He dominated as the Phillies expected when they signed him to a four-year, $50 million contract in November.
"I think it's going to be fun for me to come and shut the door for this staff," Papelbon said. "That's the reason I came here. Hopefully we feed off that for the rest of the year."
Roy Halladay pitched beautifully Thursday, allowing just two hits and striking out five in eight innings. But having not thrown more than 88 pitches in Spring Training, the Phillies knew they wanted Papelbon to pitch the ninth.
"I'm usually doing my routine and trying to get locked in when that call happens," Papelbon said. "When that call happens, you kind of throw everything out the window and you just go to compete. That's really it."
Said Halladay: "He's typical [of closers], I guess. They're all a little odd, but in their own way. I've never seen two of them alike. They don't really fit the mold. He's going to be a good addition to us. All you want is for a guy to go out and compete when he gets the ball, and he obviously does that."
Mayberry, Wigginton crack opener lineup
PITTSBURGH -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel had numerous options and possibilities, but in the end he chose John Mayberry Jr. and Ty Wigginton to be in his Opening Day lineup.
It worked out pretty well in Thursday's 1-0 victory over the Pirates at PNC Park. Wigginton went 1-for-4 and scored the game's only run, and Mayberry went 2-for-4, with his double setting up the Phillies' run in the seventh inning.
There had been some thought Manuel would have Juan Pierre hit first and play left field. But Manuel said before the game he liked the righty-lefty matchups between the right-handed-hitting Mayberry and Wigginton and Pirates left-hander Erik Bedard. That meant Shane Victorino hit first, Placido Polanco hit second, Jimmy Rollins hit third, Hunter Pence hit fourth, Wigginton hit fifth and Mayberry hit sixth.
But Manuel also chose Mayberry over Pierre in left field for another reason.
"I looked at how Mayberry played at the end of last year," he said.
Mayberry played well for the Phillies in the second half of last season, but struggled this spring. Starting Mayberry was Manuel's way of showing faith in him.
Manuel also explained why he had Wigginton hit fifth and Mayberry sixth.
"I put him in the five-hole because of his strength and his power numbers in the past," Manuel said of Wigginton. "One guy I was really considering playing was Pierre. He's going to get to play a lot. He's going to lead off a lot. And Mayberry is going to play a lot. So is Wigginton and so is Laynce Nix. I'm going to play a lot of guys early in the season and kind of get them lined up and in a position where they do feel confident to have a good season."
Galvis shows why he made Phillies' roster
PITTSBURGH -- Freddy Galvis smiled easily in front of his locker Thursday afternoon at PNC Park.
He made his big league debut in a 1-0 victory over the Pirates. He turned a double play in the first inning, helping Roy Halladay get out of a jam. He cleanly fielded the other four balls hit his way, too.
The Phillies have Galvis in the lineup because of his defense, but he certainly is hoping for better fortunes offensively. He grounded into two double plays in his first two at-bats, becoming the 11th player in baseball history to hit into two double plays in his big league debut, according to Baseball Reference.
"I didn't get a hit today, but we won," Galvis said. "I enjoyed it. It's a lot different here. It's the big leagues. I tried to stay focused. ... I felt good. The first inning I was a little bit nervous, but after that I was good."
Said Halladay: "He did great in the field. At the plate ... for a young guy, him getting in there and getting the first one out of the way is important. But he's a tremendous fielder, and that's probably the biggest reason he's with us. We need guys that can play defense and do the little things, and I believe he can do that for us."
Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said right-hander Joe Blanton is scheduled to pitch next Thursday against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies had thought about pitching fifth starter Blanton on April 15, but decided they did not want Blanton waiting that long.
Outfielder Scott Podsednik, who the Phillies re-assigned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley earlier this week, has not reported to camp yet, but he is expected to be there in the next few days.
The 39,585 fans at PNC Park on Thursday was the largest crowd in the ballpark's history.
Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced their most popular jerseys for the 2011 calendar year. Four Phillies ranked in the top 11. Cliff Lee ranked second, Roy Halladay ranked fifth, Hunter Pence ranked ninth and Chase Utley ranked 11th. New York's Derek Jeter was first.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.