Final Score: Phillies 3, Braves 2
As the great Scott Graham would say – well, kinda – you can put the Philadelphia Phillies in the win column.
A couple tremendous defensive plays late in the game helped to set the Phillies up for a walk-off win in the bottom of the 10th inning, with Jean Segura playing the hero on opening day.
- With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the first inning, Alec Bohm hit a shallow fly ball to left field. Andrew McCutchen, who led off the inning with a single, just barely beat Marcell Ozuna’s throw home to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead.
- J.T. Realmuto, rocking the long sleeves Thursday, came to the plate in the bottom of the third inning with Rhys Hoskins on third and Bryce Harper on first. Realmuto inside-outed a ball to second base, but with Ozzie Albies shifted more towards the second base bag, the ball ended up in no-man’s land, leading to an infield single. Bob Wankel of Crossing Broad noted that the ball had an exit velocity of just 61.6 mph off Realmuto’s bat:
- Harper attempted to take third base as Albies sprinted towards Realmuto’s hit, and appeared to do so successfully. Unfortunately for the Phillies, he was called out and the ruling stood after being challenged by Joe Girardi.
- Harper led off the home half of the fifth by crushing a ball to left field that probably would have been long gone on a warmer day. Instead, the wind knocked it down and Ozuna put it away. To be fair, the wind may have kept balls hit by Dansby Swanson and Freddie Freeman in the park earlier in the day.
- The Braves had runners on second and third with just one out after a botched defensively play between Rhys Hoskins and Aaron Nola at first base. Fortunately for the Phillies, Bohm bailed them out by making a tremendous catch at third base to rob Marcell Ozuna of a two-run single, just before Nola got a called third strike to end the inning. MLB.com‘s Todd Zolecki says that the ball hit by Ozuna was 107.4 mph off the bat and came with an expected batting average of .850:
- The Braves tied the game in the top of the seventh when 34-year-old Pablo Sandoval came off the bench and hit a two-run home run, a ball that traveled 407 feet. The 2010 San Francisco Giants continue to haunt the Phillies:
- In a wild top of the eighth inning, José Alvarado made his Phillies debut, and turned in a performance that left some to reminisce about Mitch Williams. The 25-year-old lefty stranded the bases loaded by striking out Christian Pache. In fact, he struck out the side. He also walked Freddie Freeman, hit Dansby Swanson and allowed a single off the bat of Travis d’Arnaud. Alvarado threw 21 pitches, 12 for strikes and nine for balls. As Phillies Nation‘s Jonny Heller noted, Alvarado now has a 3.000 WHIP and a 27 K/9 mark.
- With one out in the bottom of the eighth inning, Jean Segura stole second base after reaching on a fielder’s choice. Surprisingly, Roman Quinn swung away instead of bunting and ultimately struck out. Making his return to Philadelphia, Brad Miller scalded a ball when he came on to pinch hit for Alvarado. The ball, however, was hit right at Ozzie Albies and ended the inning.
- Héctor Neris looked very sharp in the ninth inning, and got a little assistance for Didi Gregorius to end a one-two-three inning:
- The Braves began the top of the 10th inning with a runner on second, and Freddie Freeman made a productive out that allowed Albies, the runner, to advance to third base. Marcell Ozuna hit a ball to center field that Roman Quinn got under and made a perfect throw to home plate to keep the game tied:
- The Phillies had a similar start to the 10th inning, with J.T. Realmuto grounding out to Albies, which advanced Harper to third base. Alec Bohm grounded out to third base, and the Braves didn’t let Didi Gregorius decide the game, instead intentionally walking him. Ultimately, Jean Segura chopped a single into left field to win the game:
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
- Max Fried, who finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award voting last year, wasn’t locked in Thursday, but he still battled through five innings. The 27-year-old lefty scattered six hits across five frames, allowing two earned runs, while striking out eight and walking two.
- Aside from giving up a two-run home run on the final pitch he threw, Nola was very strong in the season opener. Making his fourth consecutive opening day start, Nola allowed two runs on six hits over 6 2/3, while striking out six.
Phillies Nuggets Quote of the Game
- “So much better,” Nola said of having fans back in attendance. “That’s how it should be, and hopefully it’ll be more soon. But it was good to hear humans in the stands, [to hear] the fans get loud with two strikes…when we score…when there’s a strikeout…it’s way better, that’s what we’re use to.”
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Saturday, April 3, 2021 vs. Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park
- 4:05 p.m. ET start time
- TV: NBCSP+, FS1
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP
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