Brandon Marsh continues his dominance over Braves ace on Opening Day

The Phillies outfielder hit a two-run home run off Spencer Strider, but the top of the lineup couldn't get anything going.

Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The Opening Day match-up between the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves is now in the books, and it's a game most Phillies fans will try to erase from their memory following a 9-3 throttling at the hands of the heated division rivals. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong for the Phillies on Friday afternoon in front of a sold-out crowd at Citizens Bank Park.

The highlights from the opening game of the three-game series against the Braves were few and far between. Brandon Marsh provided the biggest offensive moment of the game for the Phillies in the fifth inning on Friday afternoon when he blasted a two-run opposite-field shot off of Braves ace Spencer Strider to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead.

Marsh's home run is now the second he has hit off Strider, as Marsh has more than handled the National League Cy Young favorite at the plate during his career. In 17 at-bats against Strider, including the postseason, Marsh is now 6-for-17 with a double, two home runs, and a healthy batting average of .353 against the hard-tossing righty, as's Todd Zolecki pointed out during the game.

As previously reported, the Phillies will next face two left-handed starters, as the Braves will send Max Fried and Chris Sale to the mound for Saturday and Sunday's contests. If manager Rob Thomson decides to roll out a right-handed lineup against Fried and Sale, Marsh will likely take a seat in one of, if not both of, the games.

As Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Friday, Thomson plans to get Whit Merrifield's right-handed bat in the lineup this weekend. The Phillies and Braves will face off again today at 4:05 p.m. ET with Aaron Nola slated to take the hill against Max Fried.

Phillies' top hitters have no answer for Braves' pitching in Opening Day dud

The Phillies bullpen was certainly the scapegoat on Friday as Matt Strahm (2 ER), José Alvarado (5 ER), and Connor Brogdon (2 ER), spoiled a scoreless six-inning Opening Day performance from Zack Wheeler. The bullpen's meltdown was quite honestly wince-inducing, but the top four hitters in the Phillies lineup should share some of the blame for Friday's 9-3 loss.

The top of the Phillies lineup put together a goose egg against Braves pitching in this one. Kyle Schwarber, Trea Turner, Bryce Harper, and J.T. Realmuto combined to go 0-for-14 with two walks and a whopping seven strikeouts against Strider and the Braves' bullpen. The lack of offense from the core four of the Phillies lineup didn't do the team any favors in a game that quickly turned into a lopsided affair when the bullpen allowed nine runs in relief of Wheeler.

With the exception of the Marsh home run, and a two-hit performance from Alec Bohm, the scuffling Phillies offense struck out a total of 15 times, while only managing five hits and three walks. The clutch gene was absent yesterday, and the whiffs piled up for the starting nine. With the Phillies facing left-handed starters Fried and Sale in Games 2 and 3 of the series, the top of the order will have to find their way out of this early-season funk if they hope to salvage a series victory against their division rivals.