Philadelphia Phillies fans entered the first weekend of regular season games at Citizens Bank Park most excited about the team's Sunday matchup with the Miami Marlins, when prize free-agent signing Jake Arrieta was scheduled to make his Phillies debut. As it turns out, Arrieta's start was the only game of a three-game set with the Fish that the Phillies weren't able to win.
Final: Marlins 6, Phillies 3
WP: Odrisamer Despaigne (2-0, 4.50 ERA) ❖ LP: Luis Garcia (0-1, 6.23 ERA) ❖ S: Brad Ziegler (1)
After the Marlins got three runs off of Jake Arrieta in the top of the first (more on that below), a Carlos Santana sacrifice fly got the Phillies on the board in the home half of the inning. Santana's sacrifice fly scored Cesar Hernandez, who led off with a double and advanced to third base on one of two wild pitches from Trevor Richards in the bottom of the first inning.
Later in that inning - after the scorching hot duo of Rhys Hoskins and Odubel Herrera reached base - Nick Williams singled home a second run, likely pleasing the computers. Hoskins was left stranded on second at the conclusion of the inning.
However, in the bottom of the third inning, Hoskins tied the game with an RBI double. Hoskins, who entered the game with a .533 on-base percentage, reached base three times again Sunday.
Unfortunately for Hoskins, he made a mental error once he reached base in the bottom of the third. Hoskins - who John Kruk suggested may have thought he had Richards timed - attempted to steal third base, only to be thrown out by a long shot.
Later that inning, Maikel Franco hit a ball hard into right field. Due to how hard Franco hit the ball, it's possible that Hoskins wouldn't have scored on it. Still, one would think that he had a chance to score, and squandered that chance with his mistake running the bases.
After the third inning, the Phillies joined the Marlins in having relatively silent offensive innings. However, the Marlins broke through in the top of the eighth inning. After Luis Garcia allowed the first two batters in the inning to reach base, Adam Morgan came on in relief.
Morgan was able to strike out Justin Bour, the Marlins primary power threat. Unfortunately for the Phillies, he wasn't able to escape the inning unscathed. Andrew Knapp, who has struggled behind the plate in 2018, allowed a passed ball with Brian Anderson at the plate. Anderson then sprayed a ball into right field, allowing both Miguel Rojas and Starlin Castro to score after they advanced on the passed ball.
Bryan Holaday ultimately gave the Marlins another insurance run in the top of the eighth, as he singled home Anderson.
The Phillies, who scored 20 runs Saturday evening, recorded just one hit after Franco's third inning single, a ninth inning single from Knapp.
Jake Arrieta's first start with the Phillies was reminiscent of Roy Oswalt's first start with the club in 2010. On July 30, 2010, Oswalt made his much anticipated debut after being acquired from the Houston Astros just days earlier. Despite the fact that he was facing a Nationals team that would ultimately go 69-93, Oswalt allowed five runs (four earned) and gave up seven hits across six innings.
Arrieta took the mound for the first time in the regular season with the Phillies Sunday, facing a Marlins team that's probably significantly worse than the 2010 Nationals. Like Oswalt did in 2010, however, Arrieta ran into some trouble in the first inning.
Miguel Rojas, the second better of the game, hit a solo home run into the left field stands for the Marlins in the top of the first. After Justin Bour beat an infield shift to join Starlin Castro on base, Braxton Lee's two-run single gave the Marlins a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Arrieta ultimately used 31 pitches in the top of the first inning, with the Marlins stranding two runners on base. Bryan Holaday, who was forced to pitch in Saturday night's game, scalded a ball, but hit it directly at Nick Williams to end the inning.
Sunday turned out to be a rather short start for Arrieta, as he lasted just four innings. The good news is that after allowing three hits in the top of the first inning, Arrieta didn't allow another hit the rest of his outing. The bad news is that despite this, the Marlins made hard contact on quite a few of Arrieta's pitches Sunday, a negative trend that perhaps played a part in him not receiving a more lucrative contract this offseason. Arrieta's control, as pointed out by Mike Schmidt on the telecast, also didn't appear to be on point yet.
In 2010, Oswalt ultimately overcame a fairly disappointing first start with the Phillies to have a dominant second half of the season. Oswalt went 7-0 after losing his first start with the Phillies. Arrieta didn't take a loss in his first start with the Phillies, but if he pitches anything like Oswalt did after his first start with the club, the Phillies will be in very good shape.
- Bryan Holaday: 1-4, one RBI
- Miguel Rojas: 1-4, one RBI, two runs
- Braxton Lee: 1-3, two RBIs
- Odubel Herrera: 2-4, two runs
- Rhys Hoskins: 1-2, one RBI, two walks
- Cesar Hernandez: 1-3, one run, one walk
- Chris O'Grady (fifth): 1.0 IP, zero hits, zero earned runs, one walk
- Odrisamer Despaigne (sixth, seventh): 2.0 IP, zero hits, zero earned runs, two strikeouts
- Drew Steckenrider (eighth): 1.0 IP, zero hits, zero runs
- Brad Ziegler (ninth): 1.0 IP, one hit, zero runs
- Drew Hutchinson (fifth): 1.0 IP, one hit, zero earned runs
- Hoby Milner (sixth): 0.0 IP, zero hits, zero earned runs, one walk
- Edubray Ramos (sixth, seventh): 1.2 IP, one hit, zero earned runs, two strikeouts
- Luis Garcia (seventh, eighth): 0.1 IP +, zero hits, zero earned runs
- Adam Morgan (eighth): 1.0 IP, two hits, one run, one earned run, one strikeout
- Victor Arano (ninth): 1.0 IP, zero hits, zero runs, two strikeouts
- Monday, April 9, 2018: vs. Cincinnati Reds, 7:05 p.m.
- Citizens Bank Park
- LHP Cody Reed (1-1, 5.09 ERA in 12 games - one start - in 2017) vs. RHP Ben Lively (0-1, 3.18 ERA)
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia Plus; Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP