After a long offseason thanks to a league-wide lockout, the Phillies will return to Citizens Bank Park today for an interleague matchup with the Oakland Athletics. They begin a three-game set today and will wrap it up on Sunday at 1:05.
Since the end of last season, a lot has changed for both of these ball clubs. Fortunately for the Phillies, the A’s are trending in a very different direction than the Phightins.
While the Phillies made a major splash in the free-agent market, the A’s parted with all-star third baseman Matt Chapman and former ace Sean Manea. Star outfielder Ramon Laureano is also beginning the season serving a suspension. Although, the Phillies are without their own centerfielder for the next few weeks as rookie Mickey Moniak has a newly-reported hand injury. In correspondence to his injury, outfielder Simon Muzziotti is expected to be added to the Opening Day roster.
A day to remember
While the entire series is must-watch television, Friday’s game will be even more special. Highly-regarded prospect Bryson Stott is expected to debut tomorrow. It is unknown whether he will start or come off the bench, but I would definitely expect him to make an appearance.
Matt Vierling will also make his first Opening Day start due to the absence of Mickey Moniak. If Moniak was healthy, this would also have been his first Opening Day start as well as his first time starting the season in the big leagues.
Most importantly, star outfielders Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos will wear the pinstripes for the first time this afternoon. Schwarber is expected to be the DH and bat in the leadoff spot, while Nick Castellanos will likely get the start in left field.
A new Nola?
Yet again, Aaron Nola will make the Opening Day start for the Phillies. Nola has struggled the last two seasons. He has had a hard time finding the success that he had earlier in his career. This season, the Phillies are relying on the right-hander to return to his best form as the Phillies chase a playoff berth. Even though it is hard to tell how a player is performing solely off stats in Spring Training, he did have a happy ending to his spring. He went 5.1 innings allowing just one run in his final start against the Tigers.
While Nola is looking to build off that successful outing, we can assume that he will be limited in his pitch count, since his spring was shorter than usual.
Game 1: Aaron Nola (RHP, 9-9, 4.63 ERA) vs. Frankie Montas (RHP, 13-9, 3.37 ERA)
Game 2: Kyle Gibson (RHP, 10-9, 3.71 ERA) vs. Cole Irvin (LHP, 10-15, 4.24 ERA)
Game 3: Zach Eflin (RHP, 4-7, 4.17 ERA) vs. Daulton Jefferies (RHP, 1-0, 3.60 ERA)
Note: All statistics are from the 2021 season.
Game times and broadcasts
- Friday, April 8, at 3:05pm ET on NBC 10, WTTM 1680, and 94.1 WIP
- Saturday, April 9, at 4:05pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia Plus, WTTM 1680, and 94.1 WIP
- Sunday, April 10, at 1:05pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, WTTM 1680, and 94.1 WIP
Game coverage will also be available on Philly Sports Reports’ Twitter page.
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