4 overreactions from the Phillies’ disappointing opening weekend against the Braves

What transpired over the weekend that has us overreacting this early in the season?

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Bryce Harper
Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Bryce Harper / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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The Phillies made a big mistake signing Aaron Nola to a massive contract

One of the Phillies’ key moves this past offseason was re-signing Aaron Nola to a huge seven-year, $172 million contract to remain in Philadelphia until the next decade. By doing so, they were looking to have Nola and Zack Wheeler be the one-two punch in their starting rotation in their pursuit of a World Series championship or two and a potential Phillies dynasty.

However, in his first start of the season, Nola threw a clunker in which he gave up an astounding seven earned runs on 12 hits in just 4 1/3 innings pitched. Even more worrisome was the fact that he yielded two home runs in the process. The long ball plagued Nola pretty much all of last season when he gave up a career-high 32 in just 193 2/3 total innings. On top of that, the seven runs that he gave up tied for the most that he surrendered in all of 2023, so he definitely got off to a miserable start.

Getting frequently scored upon has become more of the norm for Nola in recent years, as just last season, he gave up four or more runs in 15 of his 32 total starts, leading to an uncharacteristic 4.46 ERA. When the Phillies invested big time by bringing him back for the long haul, they were hoping that he would revert to his usual form seen in his dominant years prior to 2021.

An underwhelming start like this certainly casts many doubts. If his regression progressively continues, the Phillies may be stuck with an albatross of a contract for quite a while.