Reds 6, Phillies 2
Game 1 - Monday Afternoon, April 4th in Cincinnati
Record - 0-1, Tied for 3rd Place, 1 game behind the Nationals
One Sentence Summary: The Phillies opened the 2016 season with a fine pitching performance from Jeremy Hellickson and a terrible pitching performance from their bullpen, dropping the opener to the Reds, 6-2.
What It Means: Everyone who said all spring long that the bullpen was going to be this team's biggest liability appears to be 100% correct.
What Happened: Hellickson threw six shutout innings, allowing three hits and striking out six. With the Phillies up 2-1, David Hernandez didn't retire a batter in the eighth, loading the bases with two walks and a single. James Russell got an out with a sac fly, but that tied the score. Joey Votto's two-run single then gave the Reds a two-run lead. Hector Neris relieved Russell and promptly surrendered another two run single to Jay Bruce.
Freddy Galvis provided the only real offense with a two-run home run in the second. The Reds first run was unearned due to a Ryan Howard error. Howard and Carlos Ruiz both got the nod to start on opening day for "sentimental" reasons, according to manager Pete Mackanin.
Featured Card: This is Hellickson's sole Phillies card to date, featuring him in a Photoshopped Phillies uniform. I imagine he'll find his way into the Topps flagship Series Two release along with a few other Topps products before his likely trade to a contender this summer.