1-5. That is the Phillies’ record before touching foot in Citizens Bank Park in 2023.
But, the Phillies have a chance to turn things around as they host the 3-2 Cincinnati Reds in Opening Weekend at the Bank.
This is the first of two meetings between the Reds and Phillies, as they meet up later this month in Cincinnati. The Reds are coming off an abysmal 62-100 campaign in 2022, but have gotten off to a not-so-bad start to this season.
Here are some things to look for on Opening weekend at the Bank:
It has been 155 days since the heartbreaking Game 5 of the 2022 World Series. That was the last time the Phillies played a game in Citizens Bank Park.
This year, they return with much higher expectations to a season that has started poorly. A 1-5 start full of injuries, pitching blowups, horrendous situational hitting, and more mishaps. Returning home can only be a refresh for this team.
Stepping back into the stadium you won nearly every game in the last postseason, making history with 46,000 of the loudest fans in baseball, causing four hours of h-e-double-hockey-stick, and having the swings of their lives has to put this Phillies team in check.
Phillies fans can only hope that is what goes down Friday afternoon at the ballpark.
Oh hey, and the new scoreboard gets its first run, so that should be interesting.
Two gentlemen on the Reds have begun their 2023 campaign on an absolute roll.
Beginning with first baseman Jason Vosler is hitting .333 with five hits in five games, including three home runs and seven RBIs. Oh, and add a 1.133 slugging percentage onto that line.
The third-year player whose career began with the San Francisco Giants and then signed a minor league deal with Cincy in February has made a name for himself in 2023 so far.
Moving onto the centerfielder TJ Friedl, who has six hits in five games played with the Reds this season, hitting .353 with an OPS of 1.213, OPS+ of 204, and two home runs. He also only has four strikeouts in 17 plate appearances.
The 27-year-old Friedl has been with the Reds for the past three seasons and has only played 91 games. He may play more than that this season if he stays on the roll he is on.
The Reds still have 2021 Rookie of the Year Jonathan India at second base and first baseman Joey Votto. However, Votto’s return date from last summer’s season-ending shoulder surgery is not yet clear, as he will not be playing the series, thank goodness.
Injuries piling up
What else could go wrong for Philadelphia?
To add to the bad play, the injuries are beginning to pile up early.
Darick Hall sprained his right thumb sliding into second base in Wednesday’s series finale at Yankee Stadium. He was placed on the 10-day IL Friday morning. Left-handed-hitting utility player Kody Clemens was called up. Yes, son of Roger Clemens.
Brandon Marsh sprained his left ankle the night before going back on a DJ LeMahieu fly ball to the warning track. Marsh had fouled a ball off his right foot earlier in the game and was in pain but the injuries were unrelated.
With Marsh out Wednesday, the Phillies used newly acquired Cristian Pache in center field and he had another rough game at the plate. Pache has stranded all nine runners on base in his at-bats.
Game Times and Broadcasts
Friday, April 7th at 3:05 ET on NBC10, 94.1 WIP, WTTM 1680
Saturday, April 8th at 4:05 on NBCSP, 94.1 WIP, WTTM 1680
Sunday, April 9th at 1:05 on NBCSP, 94.1 WIP, WTTM 1680
Game 1: Zack Wheeler (RHP, 0-1, 8.31 ERA) vs. Hunter Greene (RHP, 0-0, 8.10 ERA)
Game 2: Bailey Falter (LHP, 0-1, 3.38 ERA) vs. Nick Lodolo (LHP, 1-0, 3.60 ERA)
Game 3: Taijuan Walker (RHP, 0-1, 8.31 ERA) vs. Graham Ashcraft (RHP, 1-0, 1.29 ERA)
Runs Scored Per Game:
Runs Allowed Per Game: