Opening Day Preview: Phillies visit the Rangers, premiere pitching matchup kicks off 2023
We’re back. The Philadelphia Phillies kick off their highly-anticipated 2023 campaign today at 4:05 EST vs. the Texas Rangers.
It’s been 144 days since the Phillies dropped Game 6 of the World Series to the Houston Astros, and it’s safe to say a lot has changed since then. The team inked star shortstop Trea Turner to an 11-year, $300M deal. Dave Dombrowski bolstered an already-impressive bullpen with Gregory Soto, Matt Strahm, and Craig Kimbrel. The team signed Taijuan Walker as their fourth starter to *eventually* slot behind the proven 1-2-3 of Nola/Wheeler/Suarez.
2023 will look a little different, however. The team will be without backbone first baseman Rhys Hoskins, who is set to get surgery on his torn ACL today down in Texas. Ranger Suarez isn’t set to make his first start of the season due to a forearm injury, and Matt Strahm will now start the season off in a starting role until Suarez is back.
For the first time in 12 years, the Phillies have high expectations coming into a new season. Obviously, we love to have our hopes before every season, but we knew at the time that the team wasn’t where it needed to be. They have a proven roster headlined by stars and a multitude of young guys who are ready to prove that they belong with the team for the future.
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Aaron Nola vs. Jacob deGrom
What more could you ask for on Opening Day? Phillies ace Aaron Nola will take the mound today for the Phillies today. Nola is entering the final year of his contract, and it’s already been announced that the Phillies’ longtime starter will not negotiate on a contract until after the season.
Nola is coming off one of the best seasons of his career, logging a 3.25 ERA in 32 starts. He struck out 235 batters while allowing just 74 earned runs while walking just 29. This is Nola’s 6th Opening Day start in a row, now trailing just Robin Roberts (12) and Steve Carlton (10).
Jacob deGrom finally leaves the Mets, and the Phillies still find a way to face him on Opening Day. deGrom signed a massive 5-year, $185M contract with the Rangers this offseason and is looking for a fresh start. deGrom, plagued by injuries most of his career, is one of the best pitchers the game has ever seen when on the field. He holds a 2.52 career ERA in 209 starts with 1,607 strikeouts and a 1.00 WHIP in 1,326 innings.
Red October: A Phillies Podcast (Ep. 1)
Red October has finally kicked off, as myself and Drew Smith are here to bring you all things Phillies weekly. Listen wherever you get your podcasts, leave a review, and let us know what you think!
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I think the game stays fairly low-scoring in the beginning, but the Phillies’ offense picks it up toward the end once deGrom is out of the game. Phillies 5, Rangers 2.