NL Title Defense Kicks Off With A Dud

There is nothing like the opening day of the MLB season. On Thursday the Phillies began their 141st season and their NL title defense. Nola, DeGrom who could ask for more? Jacob deGrom who signed with the Rangers this offseason was given the ball for the Rangers. Aaron Nola fresh off contract extension breakdown talks were given the ball for the 6th time in his Phillies career to begin the season.

The Phillies got off to a great start against the Rangers ace. Alec Bohm who would finish the day 3-4 and a triple shy of the cycle put the Phillies on the board first with a two-run home run. New Phillie Trae Turner would triple, and Brandon Marsh would double. This would all result in a 5-0 Phillies lead heading into the bottom of the 4th. And the end of deGrom’s day.   

In the bottom of the 4th Aaron Nola would hit a wall. Nola would surrender 5 runs before he was given the hook.  Additionally, the loss of the strike zone and elevated pitches were common Nola issues. Highlighted by Grossman’s three-run homer. The Phillies bullpen specifically New Phillie Gregory Soto would not fare any better. Soto would be on the hook for 4 more runs in the 4th. Control issues a fear for many when Soto was acquired raised their ugly head. The Phillies would surrender 9 runs in total in that inning.

From there the bullpens would regulate. The Rangers would tack on two more runs from Bamboo Brad Miller and the Phillies would score one more run courtesy of Derrick Hall’s ground out. 11-7 would be your final. In total, the Phillies would use six different pitchers and surrender 6 walks to Rangers batters on the day.  The Phillies would strike out 13 times and go 4 for 12 with two outs and runners in scoring position.

The biggest stories of the day were clearly Bohm and Nola. Bohm has continued to soar ever since the I F$$$$$$ hate it here comment. Followed up is an impressive spring with a huge opening day effort. Nola and his contract extension negotiations broke down at the beginning of the season.


Wheeler got the nod on Saturday as the Phillies were looking to right the ship and get back to .500 in this young season. Two pitches into the game the Phillies found themselves down 1-0 courtesy of a Trevor Siemian Home run.  It went from bad to worse for Wheeler and The Phillies as they found themselves down 4-0 heading into the fourth.

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The Phillies fought back scoring 2 in the 4th and 1 in the fifth. Highlighted by a Nicky Bats double and a Tre Turner triple. The Phillies pitching staff soon found themselves overwhelmed by the Ranger’s offense. They would be outscored 12-0 the rest of the way. Rangers’ catcher Mitch Garver was the star of the day for the Rangers as he belted 2 home runs and drove in 6 runs. Garver was making his season debut for the Rangers. Philadelphia pitching has surrendered 12 walks and 5 home runs in two games. Six pitchers were used as their bullpen has been called on way too much in this young season. And has been largely ineffective for the club.

The final was 16-3 as the Phillies dropped to 0-2. Zach Wheeler (0-1) would get the loss and Nathan Eovaldi (1-0) would get the win for the Rangers.


In the rubber match the Phillies sent Baily Falter to the mound. Falter was part of the team’s internal competition for the 5th starter. After the injury to Andrew Painter, the path was clear for Falter to win the job which he did.

Falter was what the doctor ordered. Falter stabilized the pitching staff and pitched well the best performance of the series. He went 5 and 1/3 innings 2 earned runs and stuck out 3. He did give up a home run to Jung in the 2nd inning. The Phillies’ bullpen. Greg Soto pitched much better in his 2nd appearance of the season. He pitched an inning with no hits, and with no runs, he struck out 2.

Offensively the Phillies had no answers for Martin Perez. He scattered 8 hits, 1 earned run, and struck out 8. Rob Thompson had a puzzling lineup for just the 3rd game of the season. Alec Bohm was at first Sosa was at 3rd and newly acquired Christian Pache got the start at centerfield. Resulting in 1 run scored, and a team that grounded into 3 double plays.

The only run the Phillies could mustard was on a double play. The Phillies begin their NL title defense by getting swept in Texas by the Rangers. The Phillies are now 0-12 against the Rangers in their last 12 games played. Up next is a trip to the Bronx and the Yankees are 2-1.

Matt Bednarczyk
Matt Bednarczyk

Matt Bednarczyk is your host of Talking Philly Sports With Matty B. He is a proud retired US Army Sergeant First Class, he is also a combat veteran with over 80 months served in Afganistan, and Iraq . Huge Hockey Fan. Matt is a lifelong 4 for 4 Philly sports fan. Born and raised on the Mayfair and Tacony neighborhood lines of Northeast Philly. He brings over 40 years of Philadelphia Sports passion and provides a realistic look at our Major Sports Teams and the most passionate sports fans on the planet. Look for his show live on Edge of Philly Sports.