Takeaways: Matt Strahm shines, bullpen dominates, Phillies win first game of the season 4-1
The Phillies got their first win of the season on Tuesday night as Matt Strahm took the hill for his first start since 2019.
Matt Strahm was brought in as a reliever in the offseason from the Boston Red Sox, and was planning to throw out of the bullpen this season until the Phillies’ pitching staff got the injury plague. Andrew Painter went down, followed by Ranger Suarez’s forearm injury, and Strahm was moved into a starting role, something he hasn’t done since 2019.
Matt Strahm entered the league in 2016 with Kansas City, where he spent two seasons in the bullpen. Matt Strahm was then traded to San Diego, where he started a few more games than KC but didn’t really ramp it up until 2019, where he started 16 games in 41 appearances on the season.
Strahm may not have expected to be starting games this season, but he talked about it last night following the game, saying he just wants to get the job done for the team, no matter the role.
“For me, I’m not worried about pitch count, ups, downs, whatever. When the ball gets taken from me, that’s when I’m done. I refuse to call myself a reliever or starter; I’m just a pitcher. Whatever they need, whenever they need it, I’m gonna do it.” – Matt Strahm following last night’s 4-1 win
Matt Strahm did exactly that last night. He went four innings, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out three. He threw four innings in just 61 pitches and never really ran into any serious trouble throughout his outing.
The Phillies bullpen we all knew of showed up last night, throwing their first true dominating outing of the season. Andrew Bellatti had the fifth inning, allowing no hits and striking out two, followed by Jose Alvarado in the 6th, striking out the side on 12 pitches, one of the nastiest innings Alvarado has ever thrown.
Connor Brogdon continues to settle in on the season, as he had the 7th and 8th, allowing just one hit in that time while striking out one. Craig Kimbrel entered the game in the 9th inning and ran into a little bit of trouble, but ultimately got out of the hit with a hit and a home run.
Nobody needed to see a ball go out of the park more than Kyle Schwarber, and that’s exactly what happened last night in the Top of the 1st. Schwarber nuked a fastball off of Domingo German that traveled 415 feet to right-center, the 200th Schwarbomb of his career.
Brandon Marsh homered as well, hitting the second-longest home run of his career, which traveled 436 feet and 109 mph off the bat. The Phillies would tack on two more runs in the Top of the 5th with an RBI single from Trea Turner that scored Brandon Marsh, followed by a Schwarber RBI that scored Garrett Stubbs.
They finally won a baseball game, and they go for the series win today with Aaron Nola vs. Gerrit Cole on the mound at 1:05 EST. Gerrit Cole is coming off one of the best starts of his career on Opening Day, logging double-digit strikeouts, while Aaron Nola is looking for a bounceback start after a tough fourth inning in Texas.
Here’s how the Phils will line up against Cole.