There are ways that one can open a game as leadoff hitter. Many an old-school fan would prefer that hitters take some pitches, see the stuff that the pitcher has that evening, help his teammates. Others would prefer that the leadoff hitter go up hackin’. Get a pitch you want to hit and let ‘er rip. For the Phillies, they saw a guy just called up from the minors ahead of a bullpen game for the Yankees and decided that pouncing early is the way to go. Jean Segura stepped into the box, sized up the first pitch and away we go.
With Spencer Howard starting and not expected to go very long, getting a lead was always going to be important in this game, so the fact that Segura jumped on a pitch to open the scoring was big.
Howard, for his part, was magnificent. He only threw three innings as the team didn’t want to overexpose him against this lineup, but he was very effective. He topped out at 96 in the third and final innings, showing that he still has the stuff to be a part of this team’s plans.
In the third inning, the Phillies grabbed another one when J.T. Realmuto was hit by a pitch, then displayed a solid demonstration of baserunning by scoring on a double by Bryce…