Friday, June 2 2023

Phillies’ top pitchers have been roughed up badly in the opening series originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

It’s just two games, but this is not how you want to start a season.

The Phillies were roughed up for the second straight game, losing 16-3 to the Rangers on Saturday afternoon.

They’ve allowed 27 runs in two games and multiple crucial pitchers have gotten hit around. Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Gregory Soto, Seranthony Dominguez and Craig Kimbrel have all struggled in the opening series.

Those 27 runs are the most the Phillies have allowed since at least 1900. In fact, the only team in recorded history to surrender more runs in their first two games was the 1951 St. Louis Browns.

“It’s not what we were expecting, for sure,” manager Rob Thomson said. “You’ve got to throw the ball over the plate and keep it on the ground. That’s what we’re not doing right now. We’ve got to clean it up. Defense was sloppy today, just a lot of things that we normally don’t do. Our pitchers are a little bit scattered right now.

“First outing for a lot of these guys, they’re just getting their feet wet a little bit.”

Home plate umpire CB Bucknor’s strike zone was an issue early, but it doesn’t explain the Rangers’ 16-run outburst. Texas scored multiple runs in five of eight innings. Things got so bad for the Phillies Saturday that, in Game 2 of the season, they had to use utilityman Josh Harrison to pitch in the bottom of the eighth.

“I hate it,” Thomson said of having to use a position player on the mound this soon.

Pitching is a concern. The Phillies are without Ranger Suarez and Andrew Painter, two pitchers who could have been in their season-opening rotation but suffered elbow injuries in spring training. Matt Strahm, the first late-inning reliever they added this offseason, has been forced into the No. 5 spot in the rotation temporarily, which has a ripple effect on the bullpen.

“We’ve just got to figure it out, everybody get into a rhythm,” Wheeler said. “It’s only two games. It’ll be all right.”

They look to salvage the three-game series on Sunday Night Baseball. It’s a battle of left-handers Bailey Falter and Martin Perez. The Phillies wanted to save Taijuan Walker for their series opener in Yankee Stadium Monday because of the Yankees‘ right-handed-heavy lineup.

“I still have a lot of confidence in this club,” Thomson said. “I think we’ll be fine.”

Source: Yahoo Sports


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