Manager Gabe Kapler was booed resoundingly by fans when he was introduced at the Philadelphia Phillies' home opener Thursday after the team's 1-4 start.
Besides the team's record, Kapler has been scrutinized for the management of his bullpen, including an incident Saturday when he called for reliever Hoby Milner, who hadn't yet thrown a warm-up pitch and wasn't ready to enter the game. The Phillies received a warning from Major League Baseball.
Kapler again was heavily booed Thursday in the top of the sixth inning with the Phillies leading the Miami Marlins 3-0 when he removed starting pitcher Nicholas Pivetta after 5⅔ innings. Pivetta had thrown 97 pitches and didn't give up a run.
The Phillies went on to beat the Marlins 5-0.
"They cheer for the players," Kapler said. "I'll take that."
Pivetta said he had no issue Kapler taking him out of the game when he did.
"It was the right move," Pivetta said. "Gabe is an awesome manager. He always has our backs."
After the win, Kapler said he's going to work hard to win over the fans.
"I'm going to work my ass off for these fans," he said. "I'm going to give them everything I have, at the end of the day that's all I can do. Work my tail off. And hopefully over the course of time they'll learn to trust that I'm in this with them, hopefully over the course of time they learn to trust that my process is strong."
Kapler told reporters before Thursday's game that he wasn't worried about the reaction he might receive.
"It's not about me," Kapler said, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. "It's about an incredible group of young players, very gifted athletically, and very excited to have the reception that they deserve, which is the fans' giving them a lot of love."
The Phillies' early struggles are in contrast to the success enjoyed by the Eagles and Villanova Wildcats, who both won championships this year. A parade was held Thursday to celebrate the Wildcats' men's college basketball national championship.
Doug Pederson, the Eagles' head coach, threw out the first pitch at Thursday's game and was loudly cheered by the home crowd.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.