It’s time, Phillies fans! Opening Day has come and passed — officially starting the 2019 MLB Season. As we all know, the hype was certainly real for our 2019 Phillies, starting with the lead face of the franchise, right fielder (RF) Bryce Harper. If any of you went to or watched Opening Day, you saw that the fans were definitely ready for them, and the Phillies reciprocated. Not just by having their best overall starting lineup in years, having a one-two-three punch like they do — no.
It was their preparedness and early response to the fanfare and hype the fans gave them that really packed a punch to their NL East Rivals, the Atlanta Braves. First at-bat in the Phillies 2019 season led off with left fielder and newcomer Andrew McCutchen. And man, did it start off with a bang! McCutchen would nail a solo home run into left center field off Teheran’s pitch, putting the Phils in the lead early. That really got the hometown crowd fired up with the hype continuing, even as Phillies ace Aaron Nola took the mound and put up eight Ks (strikeouts) in the six innings he pitched, until Manager Gabe Kapler took him out for the rest of the game.
Besides the solo shot and Nola’s winning performance, two of our sluggers really stole the show, and their names are Maikel “Be Like Maik” Franco, and Rhys “Rhys Lightning” Hoskins. In the bottom of the sixth, with two outs and a 3-2 pitch, Franco would indeed send a long three-run shot out into left field, breaking open an already 3-1 game in favor of the Phils, sending it into a 6-1 lead for the Phils.
However, Atlanta would quickly fire back with their own newcomer, pinch hitter Matt Joyce. Joyce would hit a two-run shot deep into right field, cutting the Phils lead to 6-3 in the top of the seventh. Though, that ended Atlanta’s last gasp, as after the Braves decided to intentionally walk Bryce Harper, Hoskins stepped up to the plate, crushing the last gasp that the Braves had to offer with a grand slam shot deep into left field. This sent the already hyped Philadelphia fans into a frenzy, as Hoskins ended the Braves hopes of keeping the streak of beating the Phils on Opening Day and as the game was put into a 10-3 lead.
Pat Neshek was left on the mound to close, as he’d pull a quick catch to the glove off a sizzling hit from Brian McCann, throwing him immediately out at first, then finishing the Braves with a strikeout, ending the long-lived streak of the Phils losing to Atlanta on Opening Day, for the first time since 1999.
To all the Phillies fans out there, now is the time to go to the Ballpark. The last several years have not been the best, but now we’re entering our glory years once again since ’08-’11. Come and support your new Phillies, and I’m sure that you won’t regret it!
Jeffrey Babcock is a second-year student majoring in Communications. JB884128@wcupa.edu