The conclusion of the first homestand of the year brings the Miami Marlins into town to play the Phillies. Despite a late-inning collapse on Easter Sunday, the Phils did have a good series against the Cincinnati Reds. Taking two of three games from Cincy helped improve their record to 3-6 on the season. A rough start in Texas has sent them back, but by no means are the first 9 games an indication of what to expect this season.
Welcome Home Old Friend
The Phillies are welcoming Jean Segura back to Philadelphia for the first time this season. Jean of course moved on after the Phillies signed Trea Turner and signed a deal with the Miami Marlins. The Phillies division rivals have always been a pain in the side of the club and Jean Segura feels like he will be a pain this season.
Segura first joined the Phillies in 2019 and played 4 great seasons for the Fightins. Jean was of course a huge part of the National League Championship run we saw last year. His go-ahead single against the Cardinals in the National League Wild Card series and his diving grab in the NLCS against the Padres are just two of many great moments Jean Segura had as a Phillie.
Tonight, before the game, Jean will receive his NL Championship ring. On the field, the Phillies owner John Middleton will present Segura with his ring and I expect there to be a tribute video played on the Jumbotron as well.
While Segura may no longer be with the club, it is safe to say his contribution to the Phillies over his 4 years in Philadelphia will always be remembered.
Fish on the Grill
The Phillies are going to have their work cut out for them on Monday night, as they face off against the reigning NL Cy Young award winner, Sandy Alcantara.
Alcantara is already off to an incredible start this season, pitching a complete game shutout against the Minnesota Twins in his last outing.
The Phillies have had success against Alcantara in the past. Last season, the Phillies were 3-1 against the Marlins’ ace. In 6 starts against the Phillies, he allowed 15 earned runs. The most he allowed to any team last year. The closest team was the Mets and he only allowed 10 against New York.
Last year the Phillies benefitted from Nick Maton and Jean Segura when they played Sandy and the Marlins. Both of those players are no longer with the team, so the Phils will need a new hero to step up against them. New shortstop Trea Turner has been very successful in his at-bats against the powerful right hander.
While the Phillies will be outmatched sending Matt Strahm against Sandy Alcantara, they do have the advantage in the final two games of the series. Sending Aaron Nola to the mound on Tuesday and Zack Wheeler to the mound on Wednesday. The Phillies desperately need their top two pitchers to shut down Miami’s offense and go deep into these games.
The bullpen has been used a lot to start the season. If Nola and Wheeler can get into the 7th inning, they could really help Rob Thomson rest some arms.
Craig Kimbrel and Seranthony Dominguez combined to allow 4 runs in the final two innings of Sunday’s action. They will need to be much better if they want to be used in this series against Miami and on the road this weekend when the team heads to Cincinnati to finish their matchup with the Reds for the season.
Watson’s Watchlist: Game 10
- Jean Segura deserves a standing ovation and he should receive one
- Expect Turner, Schwarber, and Realmuto to break the 1-21 cold streak they saw in the final two games against the Reds.
- The Phillies need to clean up their baserunning. I am looking for improvements in tonight’s game