June 5, 2023

Phillies take two of three from A’s to open the season


AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson

The Phightins are back. Matter of fact, they are more the back. They are electric! The Phillies opened their season in Philadelphia with a three-game series against the A’s. This weekend held many great moments including the debuts of Bryson Stott, Nick Castellanos, and Kyle Schwarber.

Game summaries

On Friday, the Phillies began their season with an offensive explosion. They posted nine runs on the scoreboard, and all nine of their starters recorded a hit or an RBI. Bryson Stott got his first hit in the big leagues, and Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber each recorded a hit in their Phillies debut.

Kyle Schwarber led the game off with a solo home run into the right field stands. The Phils continued to tack on runs thanks to RBIs from Nick Castellanos, Bryce Harper, Matt Vierling, Didi Gregorius, Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, Bryson Stott, and another one from Kyle Schwarber.

Aaron Nola dominated the Athletics lineup through the first six innings. Unfortunately, he lost his stamina in the seventh. He was unable to record an out and surrendered three runs in the inning. So when you look at the box score, it does not great; but overall, it was a step in the right direction for Nola. His curveball had more bite than we saw in 2021, and he had command of his fastball up in the zone.

Corey Knebel sealed the 9-5 win.

Saturday, Phillies starting pitcher Kyle Gibson stole the show. He threw seven scoreless innings and struck out ten Athletics. What was even more impressive was that he only allowed two baserunners, and he only threw 82 pitches throughout those seven innings. Gibson claims to have worked on his repertoire during the offseason. He was able to use his cutter as a strikeout pitch and, he used it as a pitch to get for a strike when behind in the count.

The Phillies offense played more of a long ball game Saturday. Nick Castellanos went yard in the first inning, and Jean Segura and Rhys Hoskins hit back-to-back home runs in the sixth.

Alec Bohm made his 2022 debut Saturday, and he went 2-4 with a double.

The Phillies won the series after Saturday’s 4-2 victory.

Sunday, the Phillies went for the sweep, but they came up short. Their offense struggled the entire day, and it took them until a homerun from Jean Segura in the ninth inning to score a run.

Zach Eflin toed the rubber Sunday and carried the Phillies through four innings despite his pitch count limit. This was Eflin’s first start since the surgery that interrupted his 2021 season. Miraculously, he was able to get himself out of a no-out bases-loaded jam in the third inning.

Daulton Jefferies, the A’s starter, was able to work through the Phillies lineup very quickly. He threw five-plus innings with just 48 pitches. He only allowed four baserunners.

Ultimately, the Phils could not come back and took their first loss of the season.

Bryson Stott’s debut

Stott’s debut had its ups and downs, but overall, it was definitely a success. We got to see him play both shortstop and third base. We saw him hit in the eighth in the order, and we saw him hit sixth in the order. We even got to see him pull a ball to the opposite field and his pull side.

He had a few shaky plays in the field, but none of them had an overly significant impact on the game. Some might argue that his throwing error on Friday could be scored as a receiving error in Rhys Hoskins.

He excelled at the plate on Opening Day. In the bottom of the sixth, he took a 2-2 slider to the opposite field for a base hit. He followed his first major league hit with an RBI line drive to left field which he stretched into a sliding double. He was 0-3 on Sunday, yet most of the Phillies’ starting nine were also hitless.

Schwarber and Castellanos are in town

Newly acquired sluggers Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos made their Phillies debuts this weekend. Oh, and they let everyone know that they were in town. Schwarber, the Phillies’ leadoff hitter, took Frankie Montas’ seventh pitch of the day into the right field bleachers. Nick Castellanos joined the party Saturday as he also blasted a home run in the first inning.

In the series, Schwarber was 2-10 with two RBIs and a home run. Both of Schwarber’s hits and both of his RBIs were recorded on Opening Day. Castellanos went 2-12 with three RBIs, a double, and a home run.

Rhys and Jean are starting off hot

Phillies’ first baseman Rhys Hoskins ended his 2021 campaign injured, but he is not wasting any time in getting back to mashing the baseball. So far, he is 4-9 with a home run, three RBIs, and three walks. This puts him with an OBP of .583 in his 12 plate appearances thus far.

Segura is 4-11 with two solo home runs. He is coming off a spectacular 2021 season where he hit .290 with 58 RBIs and 29 doubles. Segura is expected to jump around in the lineup between the two, six, and seven-hole throughout the season. Segura continued to beat out groundballs as he has already recorded his first infield single of 2022.

Bryce Harper receives his MVP award

You know it is a good day when the MV3 gets his MVP. Harper hit .309 in 2021 and posted an OPS of 1.044. Harper printed his name all over the league leaderboards as led the MLB in slugging percentage and OPS. Harper also won the Hank Aaron Award, a Silver Slugger award, and the MLB Players Choice NL Outstanding Player award.

Harper addressed the fans before receiving his award: “I appreciate you guys so much. Let’s have a great year, and let’s go have a party on Broad Street.”

Nick Castellanos also received a Silver Slugger Award before Sunday’s game.

Where are the cream jerseys?

Yes… The question that everyone was begging for an answer to.

Traditionally, the Phillies wear their cream jerseys on weekend day games during the regular season. Unfortunately, Tom McCarthy, the Phillies play-by-play broadcaster, informed the fans that the cream jerseys have not yet arrived at Citizens Bank Park. When the Phillies front office was asked about this matter, they informed the media that their supplier is backed up and that there is no timetable for when they might be delivered. The powder blue jerseys have also not yet arrived.

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