Phillies Final: Phils’ Bullpen Implodes in Opening Day Loss to Atlanta

Phillies Final: Phils’ Bullpen Implodes in Opening Day Loss to Atlanta Mar 29, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Jose Alvarado (46) walks back to the dugout after being relieved in the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports


Baseball is back, baby!

The Philadelphia Phillies bullpen allowed –looks at notes– nine runs in the 7th and 8th inning as the Atlanta Braves whitewashed the Fightins by a score of 9-3 on Opening Day.

The game began as advertised, a pitching duel between Phils’ starter Zack Wheeler and Braves’ starter Spencer Strider. Both pitchers kept the opposing team at bay into the 5th inning. The Phillies finally solved Strider when Brandon Marsh crushed a two-run home run to give the Fightins the lead. Wheeler would ultimately go six innings for the Phillies allowing no runs on five hits with five strikeouts.

After that…the wheels fell off.

Phils’ reliever Matt Strahm allowed four hits and two runs in four batters –including back-to-back doubles by Atlanta’s Orlando Arcia and pinch hitter Adam Duvall— before giving way to Jeff Hoffman.  Much like the 2023 season, Hoffman was able to get the Phillies out of a jam and keep the game tied at 2-2.

What happened next was almost comical.

The Braves blew the game open in the 8th inning sending 11 batters to the plate and scoring seven runs off of relievers Jose Alvarado and Connor Brogdon. Just like that, it was 9-2 Atlanta.

The Phillies added a run on a Nick Castellanos RBI single in the 9th inning but it didn’t matter.

The two clubs will be back at it on Saturday for the second game of a three-game series. The Phillies will start Aaron Nola against Atlanta’s Max Fried. First pitch is set for 4:05 PM.

Box Score

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
0 0 0 0 0 0 2 7 0 9 13 0
0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 3 5 1
WP: Pierce Johnson (1-0, 0.00 ERA) LP: Jose Alvarado (0-1, 67.50 ERA)
TOG: 2:54 | ATT: 44,452 (Sellout-1)

How They Scored

  • B5: Brandon Marsh homers (1) to left center, Bryson Stott scores | 2-0
  • T7: Adam Duvall doubles (1) to LF, Michael Harris II and Orlando Arcia score | 2-2
  • T8: Michael Harris II singles to CF, Matt Olson scores | 3-2
  • T8: Ronald Acuna Jr. singles to LF, Harris II scores | 4-2
  • T8: Wild pitch by Connor Brogdon, Travis d’Arnaud scores | 5-2
  • T8: Austin Riley walks, Ozzie Albies scores | 6-2
  • T8: Matt Olson doubles (3) to RF, Acuna Jr, Albies, and Riley score | 9-2

Play of the Game


    • Michael Harris II‘s mile high chopper gave Atlanta a 3-2 lead that they would never relinquish.

Player of the Game

    • Atlanta 1B Matt Olson: 3-for-5, 3 2B, 3 RBI, R (on his birthday!)

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