Phillies Show Scary Lineup Depth In Opening Day Win

Odubel Herrera
PHOTO CREDIT: BILL STREICHER-USA TODAY SPORTS

There’s nothing like a win on Opening Day. Forget the cliche ” they’re on pace for 162-0″ bullshit quip that’s typically followed by a half-hearted chuckle, it’s just nice to get out of the gate on a positive note, particularly with the quick day off tomorrow. It gives everyone a positive vibe to sit on for two days before the team takes the field again on Saturday afternoon.

As for the game itself, Aaron Nola was Aaron Nola. Just a ho-hum six innings of one-run baseball. Shrug. No big deal. Nola has reached the point where “really good” has become the norm, so let’s focus on the offense for today.

It’s probably unrealistic to expect the Phillies to plate double-digit runs on a consistent basis this season (I think?), and it remains to be seen if this lineup will prove to match the significant hype surrounding it, but it sure looks deep. That depth was on full display during the Phillies’ 10-4 Opening Day bashing of the Atlanta Braves in front of a sold-out crowd at Citizens Bank Park this afternoon.

Last week, I wrote about why McCutchen should thrive in the leadoff spot, specifically, pointing to his success against four-seam fastballs last season. He made good on that thesis right away against this 92 mph four-seamer from Braves starter Julio Teheran:

With the game tied in the fourth inning and a runner on third with nobody out, Teheran struck out both Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins. The inning appeared to be shaping up as a missed opportunity for the Phillies, one very similar to what we saw far too many times last season, but what then transpired was a very different result. J.T. Realmuto worked a six-pitch walk to keep the inning alive, setting up a pair of RBI singles from Odubel Herrera and Cesar Hernandez that gave the Phillies a 3-1 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Certainly, those hits were integral in determining the game’s outcome, but before Herrera even put the ball in play, I thought to myself, “Oh, shit. Now they have to deal with him. This is nonstop.”  Ben Davis pointed it out on the broadcast, too. It’s almost like Teheran took a deep breath once he got through Harper and Hoskins, but the Phillies’ attack has a wave after wave feel about it, and it doesn’t afford a pitcher the opportunity to catch his breath. This point was illustrated again in the sixth inning when the Cesar Hernandez walked with two outs to put two men on base. In stepped Maikel Franco, the Phillies No. 8 hitter, who, you know, used to be the team’s No. 3 hitter, to break the game wide open:

Tasty.

In the seventh inning, with the bookends of the Phillies lineup already having done sufficient damage, it was the middle of the order’s turn to get involved. With first base open and nobody out, Braves manager Brian Snitker elected to walk Bryce Harper to instead face Rhys Hoskins. Snitker, as it turns out, did a bad, bad thing:

Hoskins’ 380-foot blast effectively ended the game and served as the exclamation point on the Phillies’ emphatic Opening Day statement that the feeble offense which duck-farted its way to a .237 average and 4.18 runs per game a season ago is a thing of the past. Here’s Gabe Kapler on Hoskins’ slam:

And the best part of this all? It was the guys who were part of that feeble offense a season ago that did most of the damage, driving in 9 of the team’s 10 runs. While I wouldn’t count on this type of performance every night, I also wouldn’t count on Realmuto and Harper going a combined 0 for 6, so take solace in that.

This, friends, is your 2019 Philadelphia Phillies. Let us rejoice.

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22 Comments

  • OverBryced March 28, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    I wore green cleats. And struck out twice.

    Kink, let’s go more stories on me.

    Reply
    • You gonna look real funny eating corn on the cob with no teeth March 28, 2019 at 7:17 pm

      Phillies’ emphatic Opening Day statement that the feeble offense which duck-farted its way to a .237 average a season ago is a thing of the past.

      Uh their batting average today was .226

      Reply
      • BWanksCB March 28, 2019 at 7:23 pm

        And still scored 10 runs—-5.82 more than I noted in the full sentence, if we can take in the full thing, or comprehend, gulp, the thesis bared out in 500+ words. Probably ambitious, on second thought.

        Reply
        • Triggered March 28, 2019 at 7:28 pm

          Then don’t mention Batting Average, Homer.

          Reply
          • BWanksCB March 28, 2019 at 7:38 pm

            First time I’ve ever been accused of that. I’ll take it.

          • Overbryced March 28, 2019 at 9:17 pm

            Listen fool, I’ll knock your teeth out. Then I’ll laugh while you watch your wife queef in my face and drop deuces on my small cawk

  • Lets Go Phillies March 28, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    I was at the game and it was absolutely the best opening day game I can remember in a long time. That lead off homer to start our season just might turn out to be prophetic.

    Wish Harry was still here, he woulda absolutely loved today.

    Reply
    • Ballantine beer March 28, 2019 at 7:26 pm

      Wish By Saam was still here, he would absolutely loved today.

      Reply
      • Wish Tom McCarthy wasn’t here March 28, 2019 at 8:37 pm

        I would have absolutely loved today.

        Reply
    • HK DUI March 29, 2019 at 9:41 am

      And he would have got drunk and cheated on his wife. And drive home drunk.

      Reply
  • Todd Zeile March 28, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    Our Phillies team in 1996 with Ricky Otero, Lee Tinsley,
    Kevin Sefcik and Desi Relaford was way more scary even more so than the ‘27 Yankees. We all shot thick creamy ropes too!

    Reply
    • Barkann and missanelli's blue glasses March 28, 2019 at 7:39 pm

      Sad that Lee Tinsley died of Lou Gehrig’s disease, he was on Pace to beat the Babe’s records.

      Reply
  • Bwanks 9 incher March 28, 2019 at 7:36 pm

    So excited to have baseball back!

    Reply
  • Phils undefeated March 28, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    Nice recap Wanks!
    Bryce is kind of a poser but I’ll allow it for a few weeks

    Reply
  • OverBryced March 28, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    I’m selling the all in on philly hard. You buying?

    Reply
  • R I P loud let’s go Phillies lady March 28, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    Hope she is overmatched by the crowd noise, or maybe outpriced of her seats. Either way, it makes for a much better listen experience

    Reply
    • Harry the hat March 28, 2019 at 11:44 pm

      God hated that bitch . Thank god her days are over

      Reply
    • Jimmy the Greek March 29, 2019 at 8:58 am

      I hope she dropped dead

      Reply
  • Pistachio Girl March 29, 2019 at 9:17 am

    My buddy with the dreads that works sections 140 -145 is printing cash again!!!

    Reply
  • Julian March 29, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Go get Kimbrel before someone else does

    Reply
  • zero point zero March 29, 2019 at 10:21 am

    not one funny comment in the bunch

    Reply
    • Oh shut up azz whole March 29, 2019 at 3:38 pm

      I f#*ked your mom

      Reply

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