It took 11 innings to do so, but the Phillies managed to pull out their first win of the season in Atlanta. In what was a night of many firsts, manager Gabe Kapler earned his first victory with the club. Highly touted prospect Scott Kingery, who recently signed an extension, got his first taste of major league action. Most importantly, the team managed to rally back from a devastating loss yesterday and piece together a win – their first of the year.
Neshek To The DL
Prior to tonight’s game, right hander Pat Neshek was placed on the 10-day disabled list. Kapler said that Neshek has been dealing with a back strain and that a DL trip was warranted.
Neshek’s injury clears up some of the confusion surrounding Kapler’s debut game yesterday. Many were questioning why Ramos entered the game instead of Neshek in the eighth until Kapler confirmed the injury in his post-game press conference. The loss of Neshek is quite a blow to a bullpen that is already without veteran Tommy Hunter. In a corresponding roster move, the Phillies called up right-hander Yacksel Rios.
Kingery Makes His Debut
Perhaps the biggest story headed into tonight’s match-up was the debut of long awaited prospect Scott Kingery. Kingery made the Opening Day roster after signing an extension that will keep him with the club until at least 2023. He got the start tonight at third in place of Maikel Franco, batting sixth.
Making the most of his first big league action, Kingery went 2 for 5 with two singles. It appeared that he also swiped second following his first hit but it was later ruled a wild pitch.
It remains to be seen where Kingery will be playing and how often he will be in the short term, but Kingery is certainly to be a mainstay in Philly for the foreseeable future.
Santana With Three RBI’s, Hoskins Homers
Carlos Santana went 1 for 3 with a home run and 3 RBI, including a go ahead sacrifice fly that scored JP Crawford in the 11th. Santana collected both his first hit and home run with the Phillies in one swing. On top of that, Rhys Hoskins continued his hot start in game one with an absolute bomb to left in the second inning. Rhys is 4 for 8 to start the season with three extra base hits already.
The team also struck out 10 times while working 5 walks. Most of the strike outs came after the first turn through the lineup, however, where six of the first nine batters struck out. After that, the team managed to settle in and string together some quality at bats.
Pivetta Goes Four, Kapler Uses Lots Of Relievers
Nick Pivetta lasted four rather stressful innings in his first start of the year. His final line was three earned runs over four innings with three strikeouts while allowing two walks. After yanking Pivetta, Kapler used seven relievers in innings 5-9. Of the seven used, four pitched for less than a full inning. Continuing with his analytics based approach, Kapler appears to be focusing heavily on match ups.
Drew Hutchison then pitched two scoreless innings in the tenth and eleventh, earning his first victory with the Phillies.
The Phillies play one more in Atlanta tomorrow as Vince Velasquez gets the start. After that, the team will travel to New York to face the Mets on Tuesday.