Rangers Rout Phillies in Middle Game

Rangers rout Phillies
(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Rangers 16, Phillies 3

ARLINGTON, Tex. (Apr 1) — The Texas Rangers routed the Philadelphia Phillies in the middle game of their three-game opening set on Saturday by a final score of 16–3. A two-homer day by catcher Mitch Garver helped seal the Rangers’ second consecutive win to open the 2023 season, and it appears that this ball club is having a lot of fun right now. The Rangers are 2–0 to begin a season for the first time since 2011, and they have now won ten straight games against the Phillies. The third and final game of this Opening Weekend series is on Sunday evening at 6:05 pm Central. Lefty Bailey Falter (0–0, -,–) will get the start for the Phillies, and the Rangers will counter with fellow lefty Martin Perez (o–0, -,–).

Rangers’ Offense

The Rangers were already on the board before the second pitch had been thrown in the bottom of the first inning. Marcus Semien stepped up to the plate and deposited the first pitch that he saw into the seats in right-center field. The Rangers scored their second run later in the inning on a single by Robbie Grossman that drove in first baseman Nathaniel Lowe. Grossman was responsible for the Rangers’ third run as well. For the second time in the afternoon, it was Lowe that Grossman drove in. This time, he did it on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third inning.

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Later in the inning, catcher Mitch Garver reached base on an E6. This allowed Adolis Garcia to score, making it 4–0 Rangers. Garver got two more chances to provide some offense in the game with his first two home runs of the season.

With Garcia and Josh Jung on base, Garver hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth. The ball just barely cleared the wall in left field, but it counted nonetheless. That made the score 7–3. The second three-run home run came two innings later and made the score 10–3. A sac fly by Corey Seager, a groundout by Lowe that drove in Josh H. Smith, and an RBI single by Garcia made it 13–3 in the bottom of the seventh. The Rangers scored three more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning of their rout of the Phillies. Outfielder Bubba Thompson scored on a sac fly by Marcus Semien. Then, Garver scored once again on a single by Lowe. The Rangers will definitely sleep well after this rout of the Phillies.

Phillies’ Offense

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The Phillies plated their first runs in the top of the fourth inning. Nick Castellanos, who was the Phillies’ designated hitter on Saturday, drove a double to right field that brought in J.T. Realmuto and Darick Hall to score. The score was now 4–2 in favor of the Rangers. Their third run came on a groundout to Marcus Semien by Kyle Schwarber in the top of the fifth inning that drove in Trea Turner. Thus far in the series, the Phillies have been outscored by the Rangers 27–7.

Pitching Notes

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Nathan Eovaldi earned the win in his Rangers debut (5 IP, 6 H, 3 R-ER, 2 BB, 6 SO, 82 pitches/49 strikes). With his effort on Saturday, he became the first Rangers starting pitcher to be awarded a win in his first start with the club since A.J. Alexy on 8/3/21 against the Colorado Rockies. Eovaldi, who was born in Houston and graduated from Alvin (Tex.) High School, is the fifth native Texan ever to earn a win in his Rangers debut (the last was Kip Wells on 8/2/06 against the Minnesota Twins).

He induced 11 swing-and-miss strikes (5-Splitter, 3-Cutter, 2-Four-Seam Fastball, 1-Curveball) according to Statcast. Eovaldi finished the day with the winning decision. His record now stands at 1–0, with an ERA of 5.40. Phillies right-hander Zack Wheeler took the loss after pitching 4 1/3. Wheeler allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits. He allowed one walk, struck out seven, and gave up one home run. There was no save recorded.

Pitch Timer Problems

Working on an 0-2 count to Alec Bohm in the top of the second inning, Nathan Eovaldi was charged with a Pitch timer Violation (PTV) after his PitchCom device malfunctioned. It was the first PTV committed by a Rangers pitcher since the new Pitch Timer rules were implemented throughout Major League Baseball this season. Zack Wheeler was charged with the Phillies’ first-ever PTV on an 0-2 count to Marcus Semien in the fourth inning.

Bruce Bochy’s Postgame Comments

Rangers manager Bruce Bochy was asked about Saturday’s 16-run offense. He responded by saying “We have great starters, and they had some great AB’s. That’s a great way to start the game. The ball was carrying well today, you could tell that, but we just kept pushing, and we put the game away.”

Nathan Eovaldi’s Postgame Comments

When asked how he thought his Rangers debut in their rout of the Phillies went, Nathan Eovaldi said “Good and bad, you know what I mean? I thought the first two innings, I was really good. I was commanding the zone, and trusting all my pitches really well. Maybe the second time through the lineup I tried being perfect when I didn’t need to be. Obviously it was nice having Marcus getting things going with a leadoff homer right away 1–0. I felt pretty good out there, and obviously the offense was a big factor today”.

 

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