PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Better late than never!
Finally, Phillies opening day is here!
Phillies Starter Jake Arrieta says feels like an accomplishment just to get here after everything they've dealt with the last four months.
Bryce Harper and the Phillies open the season Friday at home against the Miami Marlins at 7:05pm.
"I'm really excited. We need to go out there and play our game and not really worry about if there is anybody in the stands or not, nobody can change that," Harper said.
Normally for a season opener it would be packed at the ballpark with fans tailgating with a buzz in the air. But this, of course, is not a normal year; playing during a global pandemic.
Citizens Bank Park is ready for Friday's opener but of course there will be no fans in the stands.
The Phillies will have cardboard cutouts of first responders behind home plate and have opened up that availability for all fans to have their face in the stands with proofed a going to charity.
With no fans Phillies will have pump in fake crowd noise and even cheering sounds for a hit or home run
The Phillies are trying to make the most of it after spending the last three weeks here for summer camp.
The Phillies are excited to get this 60 game season underway, and finally Joe Girardi will make his much-anticipated debut as Phillies manager
It is crucial - with only 60 games and 66 days - for the Phillies to come out to a red hot start.
To help their cause, MLB announced last night they will expand the playoffs to 16 teams, so the Phillies shot is much better despite a tough schedule only against the NL East and AL East teams.
"I just want to be able set this organization up in the long term and the long haul and try to win as many games as we can and get back to the good days of '08 and '09 and winning World Series," Harper said.