Final Score: Phillies 4, A’s 2
Bryce Harper’s teammates honored his 2021 MVP season by doing what they were built to do this year: Hit dingers.
Designated hitter Nick Castellanos drove in the first run of the game on a two-run laser shot to center field. His first home run as a Philadelphia Phillie gave his new club a 2-0 lead.
Rhys Hoskins and Jean Segura went back-to-back in the sixth to double the lead. Hoskins in particular is off to a hot start this season. He went 2-for-3 with two singles on Opening Day and notched his first two extra-base hits of the 2022 campaign on Saturday.
And while Kyle Gibson is penciled in as the Phillies’ No. 5 starter, he looked far from that in his first outing of the season. He threw seven shutout innings and allowed only two hits against the Athletics lineup. Considering that most pitchers aren’t as stretched out as they would like to be at this point after the shortened spring, the Phillies have to be pleased with the outing from the 34-year-old.
Oakland got on the board in the seventh thanks to an RBI single from right fielder Stephen Piscotty off the hard-throwing José Alvarado. Alvarado, who has a decent track record of limiting extra-base hits, allowed a double to right field against Elvis Andrus.
Some tomfoolery ensued in the ninth in Corey Knebel’s second appearance of the year. He allowed the first walk of the year by the Phillies’ pitching staff to Tony Kemp, who advanced on a passed ball and an error. Kemp came around to score on a single, but the damage was limited to just one run after Knebel got Sean Murphy to hit into a double play.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
Kyle Gibson: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 SO, 82 pitches
The A’s do not the possess the most intimidating lineup in the league, but it’s encouraging to see that Gibson, the Phillies’ No. 5 starter, had a smooth first outing. The changeup as his put-away pitch in particular gave A’s hitters fits. Overall, Gibson had 16 swing-and-misses on the day. No matter the talent level of the opposing lineup, that’s a sign that the stuff is sharp.
“He’s a pitcher that really does his homework and understands what he wants to do. When him and J.T. get on the same page, it’s what you get,” manager Joe Girardi said after the game.
Cole Irvin: 5 1/3 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 3 HRs, 88 pitches
Irvin went from being the International League’s Pitcher of the Year as a member of the IronPigs in 2018 to traded for cash considerations in January 2021 when the Phillies were trying to clear space on the 40-man roster. Since then, Irvin has established himself as a reliable major league starter with Oakland. He was fine through five, but ran into trouble when he left two pitches to Hoskins and Segura over the plate.
Phillies Nugget Of The Game
The Phillies put out a pretty neat note on Harper and the career he has had so far at Citizens Bank Park:
- Johan Camargo came into the game as a defensive replacement at third base for Alec Bohm in the seventh. Girardi said he wanted Bohm, who went 2-for-2 with a double on Saturday, to end on a high note. “We understand that he’s a work in progress and he’s getting better,” Girardi said on Bohm’s defense. “We’re really happy with the work that he’s doing, but when you get into some of these tight games where you get some slow rollers — I mean it’s tough.”
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Sunday, April 10 vs. Oakland Athletics
- 1:05 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia+
- Radio: Sportsradio 94 WIP
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