The Phillies know their limitations offensively, but they still hoped for a respectable showing Monday on Opening Day at Citizens Bank Park.
Instead, they managed just three hits in an 8-0 loss to the Red Sox. It was their first shutout loss on Opening Day since 1998, when they lost 1-0 in 14 innings to the Mets at Shea Stadium. It was the Phils' eighth shutout loss on Opening Day in franchise history, and the worst of the bunch. They lost 7-0 to the New York Giants in 1902 and Atlanta Braves in 1987.
"I mean, it's one game," Phillies right fielder Grady Sizemore said. "We've got a long season to go. We'll bounce back and be ready for Wednesday."
Ryan Howard hit a double to left-center field with two outs in the fifth inning to snap Buchholz's no-hit bid. Carlos Ruiz and Sizemore hit back-to-back singles in the seventh inning to get something going, but Cody Asche hit into a fielder's choice and Freddy Galvis swung weakly and missed a 0-2 fastball outside the strike zone to end the inning.
The Phillies entered the season knowing scoring runs consistently was going to be a challenge, but Monday's performance against Buchholz underlined those concerns. The Phillies posted a .641 OPS in Spring Training, which was the lowest mark in baseball.
"You can't put any stock into spring," Sizemore said. "It's one game."
"There will be a chance to have some different lineups and try some different things with some different looks," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "I'm just looking at this on the offensive side of things as just one game out of 162."