This wasn’t exactly how the three-time National League East Division Champions had envisioned starting the season. Now, they’ll have a chip on their shoulder when they travel to Washington to take on the Nationals, where the first game of the series has already been postponed. For the Philadelphia Phillies, who entered the season with a chip on their shoulder, they will now host the New York Mets.
Many in the industry picked the Phillies to finish fourth in the division. A team which boasts a powerful offense lead by Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins and frontline starters Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola and Zach Eflin, broke back free agents J.T. Realmuto and Didi Gregorius in the offseason and are destined to prove they belong in the postseason discussion.
The Philadelphia Phillies opened the season exactly how they wanted to, by sweeping the perennial division winning Atlanta Braves out of town.
Good pitching always beats good hitting and the Phillies got just enough hitting to tally three wins over the weekend. Philadelphia hitters smacked just six extra base hits in the three games, with the lone home run coming from the backup catcher.
The pitching was the story for the Phillies though.
Each starting pitcher pitched into the seventh inning while walking just one hitter total. As a whole the staff surrendered only 12 hits and struck out 35 hitters combined.
After the Opening Day, extra-inning win, Zack Wheeler one hit the Braves over seven innings while striking out 10 in the second game of the season. Two relievers set down Atlanta hitters in order while recording four more strikeouts.
In the series finale the Braves collected just four hits, with their lone run coming on a Travis d’Arnaud home run. A truly dominant start for the Phillies pitching staff. Philadelphia will welcome the Mets, who haven’t played a game yet, to Citizens Bank Park for a three game set.
The Braves will travel to Washington to play a Nationals team who hasn’t hit the field either, and will be left without regular players as some sit in COVID quarantine.
Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman remain hitless on the year in a combined 21 at-bats, while Marcell Ozuna and Ronald Acuna are a combined 3-23. Let’s hope their bats continue to slumber until they leave town.