Instant Replay: Phillies 4, Reds 3

Instant Replay: Phillies 4, Reds 3


CINCINNATI -- The Phillies opened their 135th season with a win.

Jeremy Hellickson pitched well. The bullpen pitched well -- at least until the last inning. And the offense collected seven extra-base hits en route to a 4-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on Monday.

Cesar Hernandez led off the game with a solo home run. Freddy Galvis also homered. Howie Kendrick had three hits in his first game with the club.

The attendance was 43,804 and that was the largest ever at the ballpark for a regular-season game.

Starting pitching report
Hellickson had a nice season debut, scattering six hits and a run over five innings. He walked one and struck out one. He left at 67 pitches after allowing a leadoff double in the bottom of the sixth.

Hellickson faced a no-out, bases-loaded jam in the third and allowed just one run.

He did a nice job pitching out of a one-out, base-loaded jam in the fourth.

Cincinnati right-hander Scott Feldman allowed seven hits and three runs over 4 2/3 innings. All of the runs came in the first two innings on a pair of homers and a double.

Bullpen report
Pete Mackanin went to his bullpen with a 4-1 lead. Joaquin Benoit, Edubray Ramos and Hector Neris combined on three scoreless innings before Jeanmar Gomez gave up a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth to make it a one-run game. Gomez settled down and got the final out for a not-so-pretty save.

At the plate
Hernandez became the first player to lead off a Phillies season with a home run since Heinie Mueller in 1938 and the first in the majors to lead off a game on opening day with a homer since Alfonso Soriano in 2009.

Maikel Franco singled with two outs in the first and scored on a double by newcomer Michael Saunders. Galvis homered in the second inning on the second pitch he saw. Hellickson tripled in the top of the sixth.

All four of the Phillies' runs scored on extra-base hits.

Brock Stassi made his big-league debut as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and drew a five-pitch walk.

Scooter Gennett hit the two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to bring Cincinnati within one run.

Billy Hamilton plated the Reds' first run with a sacrifice fly.

Up next
Tuesday is an off day. The series resumes Wednesday night. Jerad Eickhoff makes his season debut against lefty Brandon Finnegan. Eickhoff led the Phillies' starting staff in starts (33), innings (197 1/3) and ERA (3.65) last season.

Gabe Kapler names Jim Gott Phillies' bullpen coach

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Gabe Kapler names Jim Gott Phillies' bullpen coach

Gabe Kapler on Friday added to his coaching staff by naming Jim Gott the Phillies' bullpen coach.

Gott was the minor-league pitching coordinator for the Angels the last five seasons and the pitching coach for the Arizona League Angels the three years prior to that role.

He played for the Blue Jays, Giants, Pirates and Dodgers over 14 major-league seasons as a starter and reliever. Gott, now 58 years old, compiled a 3.87 ERA while making 96 starts and converting 91 saves.

Kapler and the Phillies still need to name a pitching coach and first-base coach. Last week, they named Dusty Wathan third-base coach and hired John Mallee as hitting coach, while retaining Rick Kranitz, who was the assistant pitching coach last season (see story). He could fill the main pitching coach vacancy, although his role is currently to be determined.

In 2017, Bob McClure served the Phillies as pitching coach and Mickey Morandini was first-base coach.

MLB Notes: Astros' Jose Altuve, Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton claim MVP awards

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MLB Notes: Astros' Jose Altuve, Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton claim MVP awards

Houston Astros dynamo Jose Altuve has won the American League MVP award, towering over New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge by a wide margin.

The 5-foot-6 Altuve drew 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Altuve batted a major league-best .346. He hit 24 home runs with 81 RBIs, scored 112 times, stole 32 bases and showed a sharp glove at second base.

The 6-foot-7 Judge won the AL Rookie of the Year award Monday. He set a rookie record with 52 home runs.

Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians finished third. The award was announced Thursday.

Altuve helped lead the Astros to their first World Series championship. Voting for these honors was completed before the postseason began.

Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton won the NL MVP award, barely edging Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds.

In the closest MVP vote since 1979, Stanton became only the sixth player to win from a losing team. Stanton led the big leagues with 59 home runs and 132 RBIs (see full story).

MLB: Manfred says pace changes will happen with or without union
Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.

There are ongoing talks for a new posting system with Japan to replace the deal that expired Nov. 1, one that would allow star Japanese pitcher/outfielder Shohei Otani to leave the Pacific League's Nippon Ham Fighters to sign with a big league team (see full story).

Mariners: Team makes trade, raises available money for Japan's Otani​
The Seattle Mariners have gained more flexibility if they want to try to sign star Japanese pitcher/outfielder Shohei Otani.

They acquired an additional $500,000 for their international signing bonus pool from the Chicago White Sox in a trade for Brazilian right-hander Thyago Vieira.

Otani, a 23-year-old right-hander, would be limited to a minor league contract with a signing bonus under Major League Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement. The trade announced Thursday increases the Mariners' available money for a signing bonus to $1,557,500. Seattle has spent $3,942,500 on bonuses in the signing year that started July 2 from a pool that rose to $5.5 million with the trade.

The 24-year-old Vieira made his major league debut with a scoreless inning against Baltimore on Aug. 14, his only big league appearance. He was 2-3 with two saves and a 3.72 ERA in 29 games this year for Double-A Arkansas and 0-1 with two saves and a 4.58 ERA in 12 games for Triple-A Tacoma.

Chicago is restricted to a maximum $300,000 signing bonus because it exceeded its pool in a previous year under the old labor contract.