Friday, March 30, 2018

No excuses, Phils should be 1-0

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Markakis is all smiles as he sinks the Phillies dreams of winning on Opening Day

The Phillies looked like they were cruising on a path to an Opening Day victory in Atlanta yesterday. Well, sometimes there are a couple of bumps along the way even on a game that looks as if it was a solid victory on the part of the Phillies.

The Phils took a 5-2 lead from the bottom of the 7th and turned it into a 5-5 tie by the bottom of the 8th inning, then lost the game in the bottom of the 9th to a home run by Nick Markakis, the former Oriole, who is in his 13th season of playing professional baseball. The Phils lost the Opening Day game by a score of 8-5.

All I heard from the broadcast on 94.1 locally after the game is that "Kapler said the bullpen was the strongest part of the Braves team", ok, but no excuses. The announcer has a product to protect, and that is the Phillies. The Phillies have a broadcasting contract with that station, do you really think that the truth will be told on this after the game wrap up show?

There were a lot of questions about this Phillies team on Day 1 - mainly Nola only going 5 innings? The Phillies pitchers were on the field in Florida around Valentines Day, that should be a sufficient amount of time to get at least 7 innings out of a starting pitcher on Opening Day. How has this game evolved to a bunch of babying going on with these players? It's almost ludicrous to think that a player isn't ready to go and start playing from Day 1.

Defensive substitutions? We saw a lot of that too on Day 1. I was afraid of this, it sends the wrong message to a team. Pick your 8 fielders and stay with them. There is a reason they all have a job coming out of Spring Training. The players aren't prepared for it, they like to know their role with a team. If this continues, we'll see more miscues and follies in the field for sure.

Hector Neris looked good a while ago, that was a long time ago. We experienced a lot of his misgivings last year, in 74.2 innings pitched last year he gave up 68 hits, and had 6 HBP - that's a lot of bad news for a guy you are depending on. My prediction is Neris won't be here by the July 4th holiday, he's on an elevator down, and the Phillies shouldn't want to go there with him. They need a quality stopper, not a guy that is pretending to be one.

The Phils continue tonight, with a 7:35 PM start in Atlanta. Do you remember the times that the 7:35 start was a standard of Veterans Stadium? Wow, how times change. Well, Nick Pivetta will get the ball for the Phillies in his first start of the season. Nick will face Mike Foltynewicz, who has a career 4.87 ERA - can the Phils get a lead and keep it in this game?

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