Opening weekend is in the books, and it was well…. mostly disappointing. The 105 loss Miami Marlins came to town to open the 2020 shortened season, and similarly to last year, they decided to give the boys in red fits. The Phillies dropped 2 of 3 to the fish and it was eerily reminiscent of 2019 and the issues that plagued the Phillies just a season ago. It wasn’t all terrible of course. Watching Harper hit a ball with an exit velocity of 109mph into the right field stands is always pleasant to watch. Phil Gosselin carried over his hot summer camp with a “player of the game” type of performance in the second game. Jean Segura looks to be handling his new defensive position relatively well. But of course, going 1-2 in the first 3 games against one of the worst teams of 2019 obviously will come with some glaring issues. Let’s break down the good, bad and ugly of opening weekend.
- The Good (New faces make good impressions)
Like it was said earlier, it wasn’t all bad. The two newest and biggest additions in the offseason by the Phillies were Zack Wheeler and Didi Gregorius. They showed early on that the Phillies made a couple smart moves this past offseason. Didi started all 3 games at SS and hit .364 with a couple of solo home runs. Wheeler was on the hill for game 2, and he didn’t disappoint either. He pitched 7 strong innings with 4 K’s and showed why he is the newest $100 million dollar pitcher in the game. It’s a small sample size of course, but so far so good from the newest members of the club.
- The Bad (Rhys still stuck in 2019)
Rhys Hoskins decides to carry over what looked to be the same approach from 2019 into 2020. Sure, he walked a ridiculous 7 times in series and looks to be on his way to another season of leading the team in on base percentage, but your power hitting first baseman needs to do better than one double and absolutely zero RBI’s to start the year. He constantly looked hesitant to get the bat off his shoulders, and even the double seemed sort of a fluke shot out to left field. I’m a big supporter and believer in Rhys, I’ve seen him play first hand many times and I know what he is capable of doing. But we need a better Rhys then 2019, and so far the only thing that looks different is the new haircut and mustache…. which should also be changed at anytime. (Sorry Rhys)
- The Ugly (Can we get a bullpen?!?!)
Coming into this year we saw the front office go after a bunch of veteran low risk/high reward type of arms for the bullpen. Francisco Liriano, Bud Norris and the rest not only didn’t make it on the roster, they aren’t on the team anymore. Yet we get to see the likes of Cole Irvin give up 4 runs in his one appearance in this series. There were a few decent outings. Neris looked solid in his 2/3 of an inning and it was nice to see Tommy Hunter healthy and contributing. But the Nick Pivetta experiment bombed out early Ramon Rosso just looks like a guy who throws hard and not much else. This bullpen won’t cut it. Aaron Nola and Vince Velasquez can’t be proud of there outings, but with a bullpen put together like this the starters will need a lot from the offense if they wanna walk away with wins this year.
Yes it’s early. Of course there are still 57 more games to go. There were clearly some positives to take away from opening weekend, but this isn’t the kind of start we needed in this sprint of a season. Counting on the offense to hit this team into the playoffs is not a safe approach. There will be some highlights along the way, we know this team has talent. Though if we wanna watch playoff baseball for the first time in 9 years, this team will have to give us more than what they gave us to start this campaign.