Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Roy Halladay allowed just two hits in eight nearly flawless innings and the Philadelphia Phillies opened with a 1-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday.
The two-time Cy Young winner, making his 10th straight opening day start, settled down quickly after a shaky beginning for the defending NL East champions.
Halladay didn’t give up a hit after the first inning. He walked none and struck out five.
For Halladay and the Phillies, it was a familiar score with a different winner. Their season ended last year when Halladay lost a 1-0 decision to Chris Carpenter and the St. Louis Cardinals in the deciding Game 5 in the first round of the playoffs.
Carlos Ruiz had three hits for the Phillies. His sacrifice fly in the seventh provided all the run support Halladay needed.
Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth for his first save in the National League.
Pirates starter Erik Bedard nearly matched Halladay pitch for pitch, giving up only one run in seven innings. He struck out four and walked one.
Despite Bedard’s strong effort, the Pirates lost their first season opener since 2006.
Ty Wigginton, filling in while star Ryan Howard continues to rehab his left Achilles, singled with one out in the seventh and John Mayberry followed with a double to right. Ruiz hit a fading liner to right and Jose Tabata made the catch, but Wigginton slid under catcher Rod Barajas’ tag to give Philadelphia the lead.
It was just a run, but it was plenty for Halladay.
Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle has preached the word “finish” as the team’s mantra after the Pirates collapsed during a brief flirtation with first place last July. Hurdle’s team could never get started, however, against Halladay.
Baseball’s best pitcher over the last decade gave up singles to Alex Presley and Jose Tabata to start the game, eerily similar to the two hits he allowed against St. Louis in that Game 5 last fall. The Cardinals, however, turned those hits into the game’s only run.
Pittsburgh — which brought in veterans Clint Barmes and Barajas to help kick-start one of baseball’s weakest offenses last season — didn’t get that close. Andrew McCutchen, who signed a $51 million deal last month as the linchpin of the Pirates’ rebuilding project, grounded into a double play and Neil Walker flied out to end the first-inning threat.
That was the only chance the Pirates got against Halladay. Pittsburgh’s only two baserunners over the final eight innings came on hit batters.
Bedard tried to his best to keep pace. The injury-plagued lefty insisted he wasn’t concerned about being a No. 1 starter when he signed with the Pirates in December, but he became one by default after A.J. Burnett broke a bone in his face during a botched bunting drill in spring training.
Though he has shown flashes of brilliance during his career, Bedard has spent more time on the disabled list than on the mound since 2007, including missing the entire 2010 season due to left shoulder surgery. He bounced back in 2011 while splitting time between Seattle and Boston — going 5-9 with a respectable 3.62 ERA — and viewed his trip to Pittsburgh as a chance to re-establish himself.
Mixing speeds and locating his curveball expertly, Bedard quickly worked his way through Philadelphia’s patchwork lineup that was missing injured stars Chase Utley and Howard. Bedard’s only bobble came in the seventh, but it was enough to prevent the Pirates from improving to 6-0 all-time in opening day games against the Phillies.
NOTES: Burnett, on the 15-day DL, joined the Pirates for opening day festivities but is expected to start for Class A Bradenton on Friday. He is eligible to return on April 10 … Halladay’s 10 opening day starts are tied for the fourth-most in baseball history … The two teams are off Friday and meet again Saturday. Jeff Karstens will start for the Pirates while Cliff Lee gets the nod for Philadelphia.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.