The Phanantic is back! The Phillies opened their season Monday night, and fans are cautiously optimistic for a better season than last year.
It's the night Erica Simmons waits all year for.
"It's Opening Day!", she said.
Phillies faithful packed into sports bars across the region, like P.J. Whelihans in Bethlehem.
"Very excited," said Shawn Casey of Easton.
And they are optimistic.
"I'm just looking forward to a good season," said Mark Firment of Allentown.
But guardedly so.
"I'm predicting 91 wins and they get into a wild card spot," said Casey. "I'm hoping it's more, but I'm being realistic."
Casey said he's being "realistic" after a disappointing 2012 season.
"A lot of injuries," said Simmons.
It was the first time the Phils missed the playoffs since 2006.
"It was pretty disappointing," said Casey.
This year, Howard and Halliday are healed.
"Everybody's looking healthy," said Simmons, "so hopefully, they stay that way."
Firment thinks the strting lineup is strong.
"Cole Hammels, I think, has really stepped up his game, in terms of being an ace pitcher," he said.
But just as he said that, Hammels threw Atlanta a home run.
"I want to change my prediction!", Dan Moreland of Allentown said with a laugh.
The home run was good news for one "brave" fan doing the Tomahawk Chop. Lauren Evola is visiting from Lawrenceville, Ga., but said she wasn't nervous wearing her Atlanta gear in Phillies territory.
"No, not all," she said. "I've got pride."