The Phillies are back! Along with that is another quest for that beautful world series trophy making its way to the city of brotherly love. With key players healthy and a few new additions, the Phillies look prime for a playoff run ! With a season opener against the lowly Miami Marlins did the Phillies get off to the start we expected them to? Sadly no. In a game that many expected to be filled with offense, there wasn’t much to be found. We mustered up about 5 hits and had a lone home run from the newest Phillie and former New York Yankee Didi Gregorious. Didi was the best player on the field by far and it wasn’t close. He had a productive day going 2/3 with a single and home run.
How did the rest of the Phillies fair? Not so hot. Minus Didi, the Phillies only managed to have 3 additional hits from Roman Quinn, Rhys Hoskins and Scott Kingery. Andrew McCutchen, Bryce Harper, Jean Segura, Jay Bruce, and J.T. Realmuto went a measly 0-19 and a walk. With that much talent in the line up there is no excuse to have that little of a offensive day. While we all love Bryce and the way that he has bought into the culture here (got to love the cleats) you can’t go 0-3 on opening day and expect fans to be happy. This should be a high powered offense, and there’s no second half to get it going. Every game this season will be a must win, and we can’t afford many games with this type of offensive drought.
As bad as the offense played, it could just be that Sandy Alcantara was that locked in. While his numbers from the 2019 season may not have wowed anyone, 6-14 and a 3.88 era, he was indeed an all star. One of the lone bright spots on a bad Marlins team, it could be that many under estimated the young all star. In five games vs the Phillies he gave up 33 hits, had 12 walks, 30 strike outs,surrendered 9 runs and had a era of 2.74. Along with that he went 4-1 against the Phillies over that five game stretch. The Phillies can’t figure out this guy for some reason. So as bad as the offense was, Alcantara’s ability might just be another reason for their struggle.
With the offense in shambels, did the pitching give us must hope? In this fans opinion, it was as bad if not worse than the offense. With the ace on the mound and an average of 13 wins, 8 loses and a 3.2 era over the last 3 years it was expected for Nola to step up and take charge. Much like last year his fastball was not where it usually is. If we are going to contend we need the Nola of old. In only 5 innings of work he gave up 5 hits, 4 runs, a walk and managed to strike out 7. As bad as Nola was, the bullpen was just as bad. In a intruiging choice, manager Joe Girardi went with a young untested kid to whether the storm. Ramon Roso threw 2 wild pitches, walked one, gave up 1 hit and had 1 strike out. The rest of the bullpen went 3 innings and surrendered 3 hits, a walk and was able to manage a strike out. While many might wonder why Girardi would go with the unknown to start off the season. I’d wager he felt he needed to know what he had in his young pen so early in the season. Once he has a understanding of who he can trust, I hope we have a better chance of seeing what that bullpen can become.
If there was one thing that stuck out to me it was the Phillies issues versus the Marlins continue. After starting off the season 5-2 against them, it only begun to go downhill from there. Since then we’ve gone 4-9 including the 2020 Season opener. If we are expecting a playoff run then we need to find a way to beat the Marlins and teams like them. You can’t go 4-9 vs inferior teams and expect to find success in the playoffs. With Game 2 against the Marlins we need some of that fire power to come out swinging and newly acquired pitcher Zach Wheeler to start dealing ! Onto game 2 and the sprint to the finish !