Pitching highlights Phillies’ 3-0 start as they welcome the New York Mets to CBP for a three game series
Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Zach Eflin, Hector Neris, Jose Alvarado, Archie Bradley, and Connor Brogdon combined for a 0.96 ERA in the Phillies’ opening series sweep of the Atlanta Braves. They had a combined 0.61 WHIP and 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings.
Aaron Nola, the Phillies opening day pitcher probably had the worst outing of the three starters for the Phillies which is crazy, because he pitched 6 2/3 innings allowing two hits and two earned runs while striking out six. Wheeler allowed one hit over seven innings of work with 10 strikeouts and Zach Eflin allowed one run over seven innings of work while striking out eight.
Nola, Wheeler, and Eflin had a combined 1.31 ERA in the Braves series with 24 strikeouts and three walks while the bullpen threw a combined 7 1/3 innings without allowing a single run.
Here are the total lines for the Phillies pitchers over the first series with the Atlanta Braves:
- 28 Innings
- 12 Hits
- 3 Runs
- 5 Walks
- 35 Strikeouts
For a team that struggled heavily in the pitching department last year and all of the talk around a high powered offense, the opening series against the Braves was the complete opposite. Last year, when the Phillies scored four runs or less, they went 5-24. To kick off this year, the Phillies just won their first three games by two, three, and four runs.
The Braves’ offense, which includes Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuna Jr., Marchell Ozuna, and Ozzie Albies, went a combined 3-for-44 with one extra-base hit and zero RBI. Since 2019, the Phillies, who oddly struggle to beat the Marlins, have played extremely well against the reigning three time NL East champions. The Braves are 14-18 over that pan and 56-31 against the rest of the NL East.
Obviously, the biggest lift over the first three games was the bullpen. After a season that was filled with blown saves and unestablished relievers, the Phillies and Dave Dombrowski vowed to improve their bullpen with hard throwing veteran relievers with chips on their shoulders. Jose Alvarado had a terrible 2020 campaign but joined the Phillies hoping to get his groove back. Alvarado needed only 10 pitches after a wild Opening Day appearance. He threw seven sinkers yesterday and not one of them fell below 98 mph on the radar gun.
The Phillies will face the Mets in a three game series today starting at 7:05pm. The Mets and Nationals Opening Day series was postponed as a handful of Nationals players tested positive for COVID-19. Because of the postponement, the Phillies will have to see Jacob deGrom game one since the Mets have yet to play, while sending Matt Moore to the mound.
Although it’s somewhat of a bad break for the Phillies having to face the top of the Mets rotation after just doing so against the Braves, the fact that the Phillies face the Braves and Mets exclusively over the first 13 games of the season, this would mean that deGrom would miss next week’s four-game series between the Phillies and Mets. Might as well just get it out of the way now, right?
- Monday at 7:05: LHP Matt Moore vs Jacob deGrom
- Tuesday at 7:05: Chase Anderson vs Marcus Stroman
- Wednesday at 4:05: Aaron Nola vs LHP David Peterson
Mandatory Credit: MLB.com