December 9, 2023

Takeaways after Jean Segura walks it off on Opening Day


Photo via Philadelphia Phillies' Twitter

In the bottom of the 10th inning, Atlanta Braves right-hander Nate Jones walked Didi Gregorius intentionally to pitch to Jean Segura with Bryce Harper on third. Segura hit the first pitch over the third baseman’s head to drive home Harper and send the crowd of 8,800 home happy on a cold Opening Day at Citizens Bank Park.

The Philadelphia Phillies made several impressive defensive plays including centerfielder Roman Quinn throwing out Ozzie Albies at the plate for the third out in the top of the 10th to keep the game tied at two. Quinn threw a strike to catcher J.T. Realmuto, who caught the throw on a hop and never let Albies get to the plate.

Connor Brogdon pitched a scoreless top of the 10th and got the win. The new-look bullpen delivered 3⅓ scoreless innings.

Here are three takeaways from the Phillies’ Opening Day win:

Aaron Nola was stellar, until one mistake

Phillies’ Opening Day starter Aaron Nola cruised through the first six innings without a problem. He allowed just three singles and a double over that stretch. He took a 2-0 lead into the seventh and his pitch count was in good shape, mostly because he did not walk a batter.

Nola’s outing started to go downhill when he allowed a two-out double to Christian Pache in the seventh. The Braves’ manager Brian Snitker sent Pablo Sandoval up to pinch hit and the veteran left-handed slugger changed the game when he smashed an 0-2 fastball into the upper deck in right-field to tie the game at 2-2.

Giving Sandoval anything to get his bat on in that situation was a big mistake. Realmuto called for a fastball in off the plate. The 92-mph pitch, Nola’s 84th of the game, caught some plate and the quick-batted Sandoval, in swing mode with an 0-2 count, did not miss it.

Nola’s final line: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 HR.

Stellar defense

The Phillies had really good defense, but Alec Bohm really stood out.

On the offensive side, Bohm delivered the first run of the season with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to left field in the first inning. 

Bohm played stellar defense at third base in his first opening day in the majors. He made a nice play on a slow roller that he had to charge, and he caught two tricky, wind-blown popups in foul territory.

Bohm’s best catch came when he leaped and robbed Marcell Ozuna’s hard line drive for the second out of the sixth inning. There were runners on second and third and the Phils were up 2-0 at the time. The play saved a run, maybe even two.

Gregorius also made a couple of clutch catches on wind-blown popups. And then there was Quinn’s throw and Realmuto’s tag in the top of the 10th.

Haseley starts, and then leaves unexpectedly

Adam Haseley started in center field, had a base hit in three trips, but left the game in the top of the eighth inning with hamstring tightness and was replaced by Quinn.

Haseley will be reevaluated Friday.

Up next

The Phils will have an off-day Friday, but the opening series resumes Saturday when Zack Wheeler goes up against Charlie Morton.

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