MLB Opening Day: Phillies’ Kyle Schwarber crushes leadoff home run in first at-bat with Philadelphia


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During Opening Day each season, I get a heightened sense of enjoyment watching each team’s leadoff hitter. I always think back to Bob Uecker’s character (Harry Doyle) on “Major League” mentioning that some people think you can tell how a season is going to go based upon the first batter. It actually worked in 2017, when George Springer homered for the Astros and then they won it all that year. 

This time around, perhaps the Phillies can make good on the theory (of course Andrew McCutchen also did it for the Phillies in 2019, but we can just ignore that one). 

Kyle Schwarber — who signed a four-year, $79 million deal with the club this past offseason — was the leadoff hitter and, well, he let his bat do the talking: 

That was a 426-footer to right-center, or, if we wanna lose the numbers and simply use our eyes, it’s called a no-doubter. Just like that, Schwarber was hitting 1.000 with a 4.000 slugging for the Phillies and they had a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. He even got a curtain call from the crowd on hand. Not too bad for his first at-bat for the Phillies. 

Schwarber suffered a hamstring injury last season, but he had the best year of his career. He made the All-Star team for the first time and hit .266/.374/.554 (148 OPS+) with 32 homers in just 399 at-bats. He posted a career-best 3.1 WAR and made an impact with the Red Sox in a playoff run to the ALCS. He set career highs in 2019 with 38 homers and 92 RBI, too, so he’s been trending well for a bit. 

The Phillies also added free-agent slugger Nick Castellanos in free agency, giving a lineup that already had Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto and Rhys Hoskins some serious thump. And it didn’t take long at all for the Phillies fans to witness it firsthand. 



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