The Philadelphia Phillies have their 2023 Opening Day in the books. The team jumped out to a five-run lead that should have been a good enough cushion with ace Aaron Nola on the mound and an improved bullpen. Sadly, Nola, newcomer Gregory Soto, and Connor Brogdon could not stop the bleeding that was the Texas Rangers’ nine-run fourth inning that claimed them the lead with authority. The game ended in an 11-7 Rangers victory.
As for any game, there are always things to take away as the team looks ahead on the calendar. Here are three positive signs to remember and two things to forget from the season opener.
Phillies 3B Alec Bohm’s Opening Day performance was tremendous.
Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm was the biggest positive of all the things that went well for the team. Bohm showed his continued improvement at the plate. He hit out of the seven hole because that’s how deep the lineup is, even without two of their best hitters — Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins. At the dish, Bohm went 3-for-4 — hitting a home run, double, and single while scoring two runs and driving in three. Bohm’s at-bats were very solid, as he stayed within his brand of hitting — spraying hard-hit balls from gap to gap.
Bohm’s battles at the plate with Jacob deGrom are positive indicators of his expected jump in offensive production. In the second inning, Bohm took deGrom deep on a 99 miles per hour fastball up in the zone. Bohm being Bohm, he didn’t try to do much with the baseball. He let the ball get deep in the zone and drove his first home run into the right-center bullpen. I was truly surprised at the way Bohm got a hold of that ball and drove it. This is a considerable early indicator that Bohm’s offensive leap is real.
Another thing about Bohm’s game that continues to stabilize is defense. Particularly with Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien’s ground ball to him, Bohm displayed a stronger arm from third base. The combination of urgency due to Semien’s speed and Bohm’s offseason weight-lifting program seemingly allowed him to show off his stronger arm. It is a considerable positive occurrence in Bohm’s development.