Phillies hold on to beat Giants in Series Opener

Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Johan Rojas catches a fly out by Chicago White Sox’s Andrew Benintendi during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Saturday, April 20, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

After a hot week in Philadelphia, the Phillies kicked off their series against the San Francisco Giants on a brisk night Friday. There were a lot of pitchers due to early exits from both team’s starters and an injury on both teams before the fifth inning.

Philadelphia was able to hang on for a 4-3 victory to kick off their home stand. Let’s see how they got there.

The Pitching

Converted reliever and owner of the sixth best ERA in the majors, Jordan Hicks, faced off against noted horse, Aaron Nola. Despite both pitchers having early season success, neither starting pitcher made it to the fifth inning.

Nola had one of his roughest outings of the year, maybe the last few years, and still managed to only allow two runs to score against him. The toughest part of the evening was the second inning. That frame included:

  • 46 pitches
  • 8 batters
  • 4 walks
  • 1 hit
  • 2 runs

The 46 pitches is the most he’s thrown in a single inning in his career, and the most since throwing 38 in a single frame back on May 13, 2019. He finished with 89 pitches (57 strikes) over 4.0 IP with 4 walks, 4 hits, 2 runs (both earned), and 4 strikeouts.

Philadelphia’s bullpen held strong and showed off their depth, as they turned things over to Matt Strahm, Seranthony Domínguez, Orion Kerkering, Jeff Hoffman, and José Alvarado in that order. They combined for five innings of one run ball, allowing four hits and issuing no walks, striking out seven Giants hitters.

San Francisco used two less relievers, but their bullpen held the Phillies offense in check, allowing no runs over their four innings. They struck out seven batters, but Philadelphia did enough damage against Hicks before they entered the game and the Phillies came away with the victory.

Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryce Harper, left, slides into second base past Chicago White Sox shortstop Nicky Lopez to advance after a throwing error on a pickoff attempt during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, April 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)


Philadelphia may not have scored after the fourth inning, but there were some positive takeaways, especially from the early going. Bryce Harper drew three walks, each with a runner already on to put additional pressure on the Giants. Reigning NL Player of the Week Alec Bohm drove in another run, extending his hitting streak to 16 games and continuing his torrid start. His team leading RBI total now sits at 31, and he is hitting .444 with runners in scoring position, knocking in 25 of those runs in those situations.

Trea Turner had a big impact, scoring what would end up being the difference making fourth run on a straight hustle play.

Turner scored all the way from second base on a walk to Bryce Harper. Unfortunately, he left the game shortly after with left hamstring soreness. Nothing official has been said by the club, but you can assume he will require imaging before anything can be made official.

The Phillies have quite a few names on this team that might not be known for their defense first, but tonight they came up big in big moments. Philadelphia came into the day ranked 28th in turning double plays with 15. They turned 2 today, both in big spots. In the third inning, the Giants led off with back to back singles, but Matt Chapman grounded into the first 2-for-1, hitting the ball at Bohm who stepped on third before throwing across the field to Harper at first base.

Later in an even bigger spot, the Giants loaded the bases against Orion Kerkering on three straight singles to open the seventh inning. DH Jorge Soler would ground up the middle to Turner’s replacement Edmundo Sosa, who took the ball to second base himself before getting the second out at first. One run did score, but Kerkering was able to escape after a fly ball to the wall in right field was caught by Nick Castellanos.

What’s next for the Phillies?

Tomorrow’s game in South Philly is scheduled for a 6:05 start, and will see Ranger Suárez (5-0, 1.32 ERA) face off against right-hander Keaton Winn (3-3, 3.18 ERA).

Soler is one to be careful with for Suárez, as he holds an impressive 1.364 OPS with two home runs against the Phillies lefty in 11 plate appearances.

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)