Phillies hope Bailey Falter can stop early season skid against Rangers
The Phillies have been outscored 27-10 in the first two games of the season.
The Philadelphia Phillies have not had the start to the new season they had hoped. Beginning the season 0-2 does not warrant sounding off alarm bells in a 162-game test. However, the way the Phillies lost the first two games is certainly frustrating.
The Phillies lost Opening Day, 11-7, after taking an early 5-0 lead. They chased Texas Rangers ace Jacob deGrom out of the game after just 3 2/3 innings. Many would think that getting deGrom out of the game early would be a sure way to a Phillies win. That was not the case, as Aaron Nola and the Phillies bullpen surrendered nine runs in the bottom half of the fourth inning.
Zack Wheeler looked to turn things around in game two of the season. The Phillies, however, lost in blowout fashion — 16-3. Bad umpiring certainly did not help, as C.B. Bucknor had a rough day behind the plate calling balls and strikes. The Phillies cannot blame the loss on Bucknor or the umpires though. No amount of calls could erase the 13-run deficit they found themselves in after eight innings. Things were so bleak that utility-man Josh Harrison pitched in the bottom of the eighth.
Now, after an ugly start to the season, the Phillies will turn to left-handed pitcher Bailey Falter to stop the bleeding. Falter was a significant boost to the rotation last season when Wheeler was shelved in August. Falter is not likely to resemble an ace, but the Phillies need him to keep the Rangers off the scoreboard as much as possible on Sunday.
Falter had a decent spring training. For a No. 5 starter, he has shown that he can be reliable. The Phillies need him to be reliable in primetime. The club needs to shift momentum before heading to New York to play the Yankees.
It is still early to panic, as the long season is in its infancy. Still, the rough start is disheartening after the 2022 World Series run.