In the midst of their own mini depression, the Phillies avoided starting the campaign 0-5 for the first time since the FDR administration with a 4-1 win over the Yankees on Tuesday night.
Brandon Marsh showed the benefit of having a short memory, Kyle Schwarber kick-started his slow beginning to the season and Matt Strahm made a cameo start to stabilize a pitching staff who were on the ropes after being caught cold out of the gate.
In his second appearance of the season and first start since August 17, 2021, Strahm gave the Phillies four relatively sweat-free innings, allowing just a single and a walk to go along with three strikeouts on 61 pitches and 42 strikes.
On the second pitch of the game from Yankees’ starter Domingo German, Schwarber ended his early slump in emphatic fashion to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead on a solo shot to deep right field. It was the 200th home run of his career and his first of the season.
Kyle Schwarber - Philadelphia Phillies (1) pic.twitter.com/BkdPehf3j9— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) April 4, 2023
After the scorn he incurred for his fielding and baserunning blunders last night, Brandon Marsh redeemed himself with a long AB against German to leadoff the third inning that culminated with a homer to deeeeep right center.
Brandon Marsh - Philadelphia Phillies (1)— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) April 4, 2023
Aside from those two solo shots, the lineup mostly struggled against German in the early innings, succumbing to the strikeout eight times. But with one out in the fifth, they got a little small ball rally going. Jake Cave got his first hit as a Phillie and Garrett Stubbs his first of the year on a pair of singles that chased German from the game (Marsh traded places with Cave on a fielder’s choice in between). Yankees’ reliever Michael King allowed another pair of back to back singles to Trea Turner and Schwarber to score Marsh and Stubbs to complete the Phillies’ scoring for the evening.
Schwarber’s RBI single was notable for the fact it was grounded through the hole between first and second base and very probably would have been an out last season given the new shift limitations.
The Phillies went to Andrew Bellatti, Jose Alvarado and Connor Brogdon working double duty to bridge the 5th-8th innings. They combined for 6 strikeouts and left no baserunners aboard, as a lone single surrendered by Brogdon to Gleyber Torres was erased by a doubled-off steal attempt after a hard liner hit by Josh Donaldson right at Nick Castellanos. Really encouraging stuff from the ‘pen after the last few days.
Craig Kimbrel came on in the ninth in a non-save opportunity and made things a little more interesting than they needed to be after a one out solo home run from DJ LeMahieu followed by an Aaron Judge walk and Giancarlo Stanton single. He ended the proceedings by getting Donaldson to pop foul to Darick Hall for the final out.
Trea Turner finished his day with a couple singles and a steal, his first of the season. Cave and Bryson Stott also finished with two hits a piece, including a double from Stott.
JT Realmuto got his first day off of 2023 after playing 156 of the Phillies’ 179 regular plus post-season games last season.
Alec Bohm played his third role in as many games was back at 3rd after DH’ing yesterday and manning first on Sunday. He worked the Phillies only walk of the night.
The Phils and Yanks are back at it tomorrow for a matinee duel between staff aces Aaron Nola and Gerrit Cole before their season debut at the friendly confines of CBP on Thursday. A win tomorrow could certainly influence the reception the reigning NL Champs receive, but hopefully tonight’s victory can disquiet most of the concern enough to enjoy the 2022 ride one last time.