CLEARWATER, Fla. It shouldnt come as a big surprise, but Roy Halladay will start on opening day on April 5 in Pittsburgh. It also should not come as a surprise that Cliff Lee will pitch in the second game of the season in Pittsburgh on April 7.
So why wait until the fourth game of the year to use Hamels?
Cole has had more experience, Dubee explained. Hell, hes pitched in the World Series. The big flag is out there. Not that Vance cant handle it, but its a little bit of a hectic day. Any of our guys deserve to pitch the home opener or the opener of the season. This way it lines up where Cole gets it. It splits our lefties. It doesnt put Vance in that situation. Cole is more accustomed to pitching with a lot of hoopla around.
Meanwhile, the rotation should readjust a bit after the home opener. Instead of having fifth starter Joe Blanton take the mound, Dubee says Halladay will probably go again given there will be two off days between the season opener and the fifth game of the season.
I dont want Doc sitting for seven or eight days, Dubee said.
Halladay will start on opening day for the 11th season in a row, the longest current streak in the majors.