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Corner Pub Sports

Philadelphia Phillies Weekly Recap: The First Week of the Season

First Week

Each week, Corner Pub Sports writer Matt Gregan will recap the events of the week for the Philadelphia Phillies. This week, we cover the first week of the 2017 MLB season, April 3 – April 8. 

The first week of the 2017 MLB season for the Philadelphia Phillies was one of ups and downs. We saw an opening day win fueled by a couple of home runs from some unusual sources and a 17-run outburst on Saturday, all with a scoreless drought and some losses in between.

Monday, April 3: @Reds, win 4-3, 1-0 record

On Opening Day for the Phillies, the season got started off with a bang and a solo home run by the leadoff man, second baseman Cesar Hernandez. The Phillies bats were able to get them this win, as the team combined for seven extra-base hits in the 4-3 win. Freddy Galvis also clubbed a solo home run and newly acquired outfielder Howie Kendrick went 3-for-5 in his debut with the Phillies. Starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson had a nice start to the season, going five innings and allowing one run on six hits with one walk and one strikeout. The pitcher also helped his own cause by hitting an RBI triple in the fifth inning. Closer Jeanmar Gomez allowed a two-run home run to Scooter Gennett in the ninth inning, but he still got the save as the Phillies were able to pull out the victory by the final score of 4-3.

Wednesday, April 5: @Reds, lose 2-0, 1-1 record

The second game of the 2017 season was a bleak one for the Phillies. The game began late due to a rain delay, and once the game began the pitching duel started. Cincinnati Reds starter Brandon Finnegan outlasted Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff, striking out nine in his seven innings. Eickhoff pitched well until the seventh inning, where he gave up a leadoff home run to Joey Votto and then a two-out RBI single to Zack Cozart. Unfortunately, Eickhoff’s good game was wasted as the Phillies were not able to score a run in this 2-0 loss to the Reds.

Thursday, April 6: @Reds, lose 7-4, 1-2 record

Another newly acquired Phillies player, this time it was outfielder Daniel Nava, made an impact on his new team. Nava hit two home runs, the first a solo one in the first inning and then a two-run home run in the third inning. However, Phillies pitching struggled in this one, with starter Clay Bucholz only managing to get through five innings while giving up four runs and eight hits. Adam Morgan, a guy who has struggled throughout his major league career, continued to struggle in this one and got saddled with the loss, giving up three runs (including a home run to Michael Lorenzen, a relief pitcher who pinched hit for the Reds) in two and one-third innings.

Friday, April 7: vs Nationals, lose 7-6, 1-3 record

The Phillies, despite a spirited comeback attempt, were not able to come back from being down 7-0. Nationals starter Max Scherzer got the win in his season debut while giving up two runs and four hits while striking out seven in six and two-thirds innings. Phillies starter Vince Velasquez struggled to keep his pitch count down, and he got hammered by home runs from Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy. Velasquez threw 94 pitches in only four innings and received the loss, but he did strike out 10 Nationals batters. The Phillies bats came alive too little, too late. In the seventh inning, pinch hitter Aaron Altherr hit a two-run home run to make it 7-3, and Freddy Galvis hit his second home run of the season, a two-run shot in the ninth inning. Overall, the Phillies couldn’t finish the rallying comeback and ended up losing their first divisional game of the season by the final score of 7-6.

Saturday, April 8: vs Nationals, win 17-3, 2-3 record

The Phillies began this game with a historic 12-run first inning, and they did it by sending 16 men to the plate and totaling nine hits in the inning. This game was fun from the start to the finish, with the Phillies dominating the entire game. National starter Jeremy Guthrie couldn’t even make it out of the first inning, allowing 10 runs in two-thirds of an inning. Howie Kendrick went 3-for-5 with four RBIs, including a three RBI triple. Tommy Joseph broke out of his cold start to the season with a 2-for-4 performance that included driving in three runs. Michael Saunders and Maikel Franco also had two RBIs each. Phillies starter Aaron Nola, making his first start since coming back from an elbow injury sustained last season, made it through six innings while giving up three runs and seven hits and striking out seven in the 17-3 win over the Nationals.

Stats and Other Things

  • Welcome to the Phillies, Howie Kendrick. Through the first week of the season, Kendrick is batting 8-for-18 (.444 AVG) with four RBIs. Kendrick should be able to provide some production and a veteran presence to the lineup, and he is doing a great job of both so far in 2017.
  • Odubel Herrera continues to hit well from the plate and get on base at an extremely high clip. Herrera is hitting 7-for-18 (.389 AVG) but he has an OBP of .522 through the first five games of 2017.
  • Freddy Galvis is hitting like he usually does, at a low average while providing some pop. Galvis only has four hits in 17 at-bats so far this season, but of those four hits, two of them are doubles and two are home runs. Galvis also is leading the team with five RBIs thus far.
  • Maikel Franco and Tommy Joseph, two players that compose the middle of the order, are struggling to start this season. Franco is hitting 3-for-20 with two RBIs and Joseph is hitting 2-for-17 with three RBIs. If the Phillies plan on improving their hitting from last season, then they will need both of these players to step up their games at the plate.
  • Pitching for the Phillies has been mediocre thus far in 2017. The starters have amassed a 5.04 ERA and a 2-2 record. The bullpen, outside of Adam Morgan and Jeanmar Gomez, has pitched very well. Joaquin Benoit has pitched two scoreless innings and struck out three. Hector Neris and Pat Neshek have both pitched two scoreless innings, while striking out two each. Perhaps the most surprising of all thus far has been Edubray Ramos, who has pitched three and two-thirds scoreless innings while striking out four.
  • New hitting coach Matt Stairs has seemed to get his message of plate discipline and patience at the plate through the heads of the Phillies hitters. Through one week of the season, the Phillies are tied for sixth in walks with 21 and sixth in team average with a .262 AVG. Let’s hope that the team continues to heed Stairs’ message and hit at a high clip.

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