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smoltz-likely-to-start-opening-day | February | 2007 Articles

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Smoltz likely to start Opening Day

on .

David O'Brien thinks it's probable.
The Phillies certainly think theyíre going to be facing Smoltz on opening day, Monday afternoon, April 2 at Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Daily News reported that Phillies center fielder Aaron Rowand has Smoltzís baseball card above his locker at spring training as an opening-day reminder _ and perhaps to distract him from rumors Rowand might be traded before April 2.
As unconventional as it might sound, Iíd have James follow Smoltz in the rotation. Iíd go Smoltz on opening day April 2, then come back with James in Game 2 on April 4 (thereís a rainout day built into the schedule on 3rd), then Hudson in Game 3 on April 5. But I donít know how the Braves would feel about having Hampton start the home opener April 6 vs. the Mets. That could be a good thing or potentially be a bit of a gamble, having his first start in 18 months come before a packed house at Turner Field, in a game against the defending division champion Mets. Then again, do you want his first start in 18 months coming in the bandbox that is Philadelphiaís ballpark? Hummm. Decisions, decisions. But Iíd go Smoltz-James-Hudson-Hampton and No. 5, whether itís Kyle Davies or whoever it is. What do you think? I really donít think Bobby Cox is going to do it, but do any of you agree with me that having the lefties go second and fourth is better than 3-4, and that thereís no reason James canít start ahead of Hudson?
I agree. Actually, it's not really unconventional. But I don't think it really matters that much as long as the left-handers aren't back to back.† Then again, maybe you'd rather have the groundball pitcher starting the game in Philadelphia and the flyball pitcher starting the game in Atlanta.

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