Phillies Opening Day Notes: Better Bullpen, Haseley Hurt
The Phillies picked up an Opening Day win over the Braves on Thursday in a way that they likely would not have been able to in 2020 - thanks to their bullpen.
The newly constructed bullpen followed starter Aaron Nola and held up their end of the bargain, as four Phillies relievers tossed 3.3 scoreless innings.
"Really refreshing," Phillies manager Joe Girardi said after the win. "Its encouraging. Everyone contributed today."
New arms Archie Bradley and Jose Alvarado joined incumbents Hector Neris and Connor Brogdon to strikeout four batters, allowing just one hit and walking two.
Beadley faced two batters, after replacing Nola. While Alvarado was erratic, he showed a powerful fastball, striking out three Braves hitters in the eighth. Neris was aided by a tremendous defensive play by Didi Gregorius at short to retire the Braves in the ninth and Brogdon got a big lift from Roman Quinn in center to help shut the Braves out in the tenth.
Pitching and defense.
Nola pitched well during his 6.2 innings of work, but was hurt in the seventh by a two-run bomb to Pablo Sandoval, trying the game at 2-2.
"Aaron threw a fabulous game against a very good offense," Girardi said. "It was unfortunate that he made maybe one mistake today."
That's when the Phillies turned to their pen.
The key could be Brogdon. The 26-year old could be the key to the Phillies bullpen and Girardi showed the confidence in him right off the bat, turning to him in the 10th inning with a Braves runner starting on second base.
"We saw his confidence kind off take of last year," Girardi explained. "I know its a tough spot to put him in, but I got a lot of belief in his ability, that's why I brought him in there. "
In what was somewhat of a surprise, center fielder Adam Haseley got the call to start Opening Day, but did not finish the game. The 24-year old went 1-3, before leaving the game with what manager Joe Girardi said was a tight hamstring. Roman Quinn replaced him in center field in the top of the eighth and came up big, throwing out what would have been the go-ahead run at the plate in the 10th.
"He'll be day-to-day," Girardi said about Haseley. We'll reevaluate him tomorrow."
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