This is new ground we’re treading on today, because there was a game yesterday. We’re done with spring training storylines and all the roster what-ifs. The Phillies played a game, and we’ve got a bunch of things to talk about.
Phillies 4, Reds 3
That was a nice way to start things off, right? I recapped the game last night, so be sure to check that out. But we have a few highlights to cover as well!
Cesar Hernandez home runs into history
Cesar led off yesterday’s game with a home run, which could have been the most exciting thing to happen in yesterday’s game, but wasn’t (more on that in a minute).
Matt Gelb tweeted out some really interesting history about that.
The last time the first Phillies batter of a season homered was 1938, when Heinie Mueller did it against the Brooklyn Dodgers.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) April 3, 2017
You wanna know a little bit more about Heinie Mueller? Gelb to the rescue.
This, from a 1941 Inquirer, describes "Little Heinie's" disposition: pic.twitter.com/pIbTClDcnN— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) April 3, 2017
Well okay! Old timey ballplayers were certainly... uh... you know, why don’t we move on!
Jeremy Hellickson triples
He was the opening day starter and he tripled!
It was awesome. Matt Breen of Philly.com talked to Hellickson after the game, and apparently Hell Boy thought he had a chance for an inside-the-park homer as he ran the bases. But that would have been an utter nightmare, considering how much the triple tuckered him out. Here’s what he said to Breen:
"I'm never doing that again," Hellickson joked. "I'm stopping at second no matter what."
Okay, Jeremy Hellickson is adorable.
Jeanmar Gomez is the closer, but for how long?
After Jeanmar gave up a two-run homer in the ninth inning yesterday, Pete Mackanin wasted no time airing out his concern for the team’s current closer. Todd Zolecki interviewed him after the game, is this is what he had to say.
"I'm concerned," Mackanin said about Gomez's shaky performance. "I had two guys up in the 'pen in that ninth inning [Joely Rodriguez and Pat Neshek]. He's just not getting the ball down the way he did when he was successful. I want to make sure that he gets opportunities, but at the same time, I don't want to let games slip away.
"He has to execute. Like I said, for me, he's earned the right to be the closer for right now. But he's got to get the ball down."
I know I’ve said it a lot lately, but I really like Pete Mackanin. If Jeanmar keeps blowing it, he’s got other guys lined up to take his place. That flexibility is key for a good manager.