April 03, 2019
For the first time in years, the Philadelphia is at the center of the baseball world.
The Phillies started with a sweep of the defending N.L. East champion Braves, and after opening weekend were the only undefeated team in Major League Baseball. They followed that up with an 8-2 win over the Nationals in Bryce Harper's homecoming on Tuesday night, and are 4-0 for the first time since Woodrow Wilson was in the White House (in 1915).
It's not just that the Phillies are winning, it's how they're doing it — by beating the opposition into submission, and doing so with style. And their series-opening win over the Nationals was a perfect snapshot of the first week of their 2019 campaign. They got a solid start from Zach Eflin on the mound, but the real damage came from their red-hot lineup, putting up eight runs on 14 hits overall and chasing three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer after five innings, allowing them to wreak havoc on the Nats bullpen.
And, of course, there were celebrations.
The series continues on Wednesday afternoon as the Phillies look to improve to 5-0 on the young season, but the big Bryce Harper homecoming is now behind us and it's back to baseball. Of course, that doesn't mean the Nationals (and their fans) are over seeing Harper in a different shade of red.
Plus, I met someone else— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) April 3, 2019
We havin' better discussions pic.twitter.com/KJnLKqAUKF
Everything's been going right for the Phillies so far, and the national media has taken notice. Well, most of them. After starting the season in the back half or just outside of the Top 10 in most power rankings, they've climbed into the most writer' Top 5 — we're still not sure what's going on over at the Sporting News.
[NOTE: Most of these rankings came out following the first series of the season, and did not take into account Tuesday night's win in Washington. Some, however, did.]
|WHAT THEY'RE SAYING...|
|8 (+7)||How about these Phillies, huh? If they justify a stay here through next Sunday, we'll discuss further at length.|
|N/A||Three games in, and they’re already going crazy in Philly.|
|N/A||The Phillies have done everything to deserve the No. 1 spot in Week 1. They haven’t lost, so let’s start there. Three wins against the defending NL East champs too. Bryce Harper has homered twice, but the whole lineup has hit, which is more encouraging. The pitching hasn’t been lights out, but it’s definitely been good enough. If this is who the Phillies are, look out.|
|7 (+4)||It was a celebratory opening weekend for the Phillies, as they drew massive crowds at Citizens Bank Park for a three-game set against the division-rival Braves and swept the whole thing.|
|6 (+2)||The Philadelphia Phillies also made a strong first impression with a sweep of the division-rival Atlanta Braves.|
|N/A||It didn't take long for Bryce Harper to announce his presence with authority, launching a 465-foot home run in his second game in a Phillies uniform. Philadelphia fans can expect that for the next decade, roughly.|
Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports