The 2017 season opened nicely for the Philadelphia Phillies. Cesar Hernandez became the first Phillies player to lead off a regular season with a home run since 1938, Freddy Galvis added a home run and Jeremy Hellickson picked up the win in five innings of work in a 4-3 season-opening victory in Cincinnati. The Reds made things a little dicey late in the game, but the Phillies bullpen escaped as Jeanmar Gomez was awarded the save in his season debut.
The Phillies jumped on Reds starter Scott Feldman right out of the gates. After Hernandez led the game off with a solo shot over the right field fence, Michael Saunders doubled home a sliding Maikel Franco to put the Phillies up 2-0. Galvis tacked on a third run in the second inning with his solo home run to right center field for a 3-0 lead. Hellickson actually helped himself out in the top of the sixth inning with a triple, aided by some rough defense by Reds right fielder Scott Schebler. Galvis scored on the play, scoring what would turn out to be the game-winning run.
Scooter Gennett took Gomez deep in the ninth inning with a two-run shot to close the gap down to one run, but that was all the Reds would dust up in this one. Gomez got out of the game after allowing two runs on two hits.
In his Phillies debut, Howie Kendrick picked up a three-hit game while batting second in the lineup. Tommy Joseph went 0-for-4 in his first Opening Day assignment, stranding three runners on base in the process with a pair of strikeouts. Cameron Rupp also had an 0-for-4 afternoon with two strikeouts.
Opening Day is a great time to let our imaginations run wild. Now let’s see what happens in Game 2 of 162.
ON DECK: The Phillies and Reds will take off on Tuesday before getting back at it Wednesday night. Jerad Eickoff will take the mound for the Phillies, while the Reds will counter with Brandon Finnegan. Eickoff started 33 games for the Phillies last season and compiled a record of 11-14 with a 3.65 ERA in nearly 200 innings of work.