Although the Philadelphia Phillies are just two games into their season, star free-agent acquisition Archie Bradley has already made a noticeable impact on what seems to be a much-improved bullpen — helping the group to a perfect 0.00 ERA through 5 1/3 innings and the overall team to an undefeated, 2-0 record.
Spanning his two appearances so far in a Phillies uniform, Bradley has combined to toss 1 1/3 scoreless innings — allowing no hits and just one walk while striking out one batter.
Aaron Nola was cruising on Opening Day before he allowed a game-tying, two-run home run to Pablo Sandoval with two outs in the seventh inning. Manager Joe Girardi immediately pulled the right-hander in favor of Bradley.
At a time when all momentum swing in the direction of the Phillies division-rivals, Bradley helped to limit the damage and get out of the inning unscathed. Bradley wound up walking rising star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. on six pitches, but got Ozzie Albies to fly out to center on the very next pitch to send the game to the bottom of the seventh. Jose Alvarado, Hector Neris, and Connor Brogdon then tossed a scoreless inning each, setting up Jean Segura‘s walk-off single.
On Saturday, Bradley again entered the game right after the Phillies starting pitcher. Unlike Nola, No. 2 starter Zack Wheeler was pulled at a peak point in his outing — having retired 17 straight batters. With the Phillies up 4-0, Bradley needed just nine pitches to toss a 1-2-3 scoreless eighth inning — striking out Dansby Swanson looking, and getting Dansby Swanson and Austin Riley to each line out to right fielder Bryce Harper. Neris shut the door in the ninth with three strikeouts on just 14 pitches, preserving the combined one-hit shutout.
This past offseason, Bradley told reporters that he was “fired up” and “ecstatic” to be a Phillie, adding that was excited to go in and “try to do cool things and special things for the city, this town, and the whole organization.”
So far, so good in Bradley’s Phillies tenure.