Phillies walk it off on Opening Day against the Braves, win 3-2
Baseball is officially back. The Philadelphia Phillies walked away with a walk-off 3-2 win against the Atlanta Braves. Fans were welcomed back to Citizens Bank Park for the first time since 2019 and the Phillies didn’t disappoint. Aaron Nola was on the mound and pitched well throwing 6.2 innings and allowing two earned runs, six hits, zero walks, and striking out six. Nola threw just 84 pitches, 62 of which were strikes. He worked a shutout into the 7th inning before Pablo Sandoval tore the hide off the baseball with a second deck home run to tie the game at two.
Alec Bohm was the only Phillies player without a hit today but did manage to pick up a sacrifice fly that scored Andrew McCutchen. Realmuto added another RBI with a single in the 3rd to give the Phillies an early lead. JT Realmuto and Jean Segura both had two-hit games. Rhys Hoskins and Didi Gregorius both struck out three times and left five runners on-base. Hoskins left two runners in scoring position and Didi left a disappointing four runnings in scoring position stranded on the base paths.
Bohm was able to flash the leather and make a couple huge plays at third to keep the damage to a minimum. Didi Gregorius also made an ESPN Top 10 play with an over-the-shoulder catch in the top of the 9th inning to send the game into extra innings.
It’s tough to shake the PTSD from last season. With the game tied at two and the bullpen taking over pitching duties, you felt the nerves and anxiety begin to rise. The Phillies bullpen however, was fantastic. Archie Bradley relieved Nola walked a batter in just 0.1 innings of work. Jose Alvarado made things interesting but was able to strike out Cristian Pache to keep the game all square. Connor Brogdon took over and threw a no-hit inning. Bradley, Alvarado, Neris, Brogdon threw a combined 3.1 innings, allowing zero earned runs, one hit, and one walk while striking out four. The bullpen threw 50 total pitches, 31 for strikes and Connor Brogdon was awarded with the win.
In the bottom of the 10th inning, Bryce Harper took his lead on second base and Alec Bohm sent him to 3rd base on a ground out. The Braves intentionally walked Didi Gregorius and opted to pitch to Jean Segura. Jimmy Cigs made them pay with a two-out single down the left field line to easily score Bryce Harper.
Adam Haseley had his left groin tighten up on him late in the game. Roman Quinn came in to play centerfield. Haseley is day-to-day and will be re-evaluated tomorrow. Definitely something to keep an eye on given the centerfield battle that unfolded over Spring Training, with Haseley and Quinn earning spots on the Opening Day roster.
At the end of the day, it was a great start to the 2021 season for the Philadelphia Phillies. They will have the day off tomorrow before returning to action on Saturday against the Braves at 4:05pm. Until then, Jean Segura runs this city.