1,458 runs. That is the Philadelphia Phillies Opening Day run total extrapolated over the course of a full season. Obviously, the Phillies will not average nine runs per game over a full 162, but they've certainly proven that their offensive output can be among the most powerful in baseball.
The Phillies' opponent, the Oakland Athletics, are not a strong team. After an off-season fire-sale, their offense and bullpen are sorely lacking strong major league talent.
However, yesterday's Opening Day starter, Frankie Montas, is undoubtedly one of the better pitchers in the game. In 2021, he started a major league leading 32 games for 187 innings and a 3.37 ERA, finishing 6th in AL Cy Young voting. The Phillies were not beating up on a bottom-feeder.
What the Phillies were able to do to Montas' rhythm was nothing short of spectacular. Lead-off hitter, Kyle Schwarber, worked a seven-pitch at-bat to start the game, before smashing a 426-foot leadoff home run.
Following him, J.T. Realmuto, Rhys Hoskins, Matt Vierling, Kyle Schwarber, Nick Castellanos, Jean Segura, Bryson Stott, Realmuto again, Bryce Harper and Castellanos again, all worked at-bats of five pitches or longer.
Montas recorded 12 outs against the Phillies and allowed 11 at-bats to reach counts consisting of five pitches or more.
The Phillies lineup not only showcased its ability to bash the ball, but they also proved they can grind even the best of pitchers down. Their offense gives no respite to opposing arms, even once the Phillies are through their fearsome first five hitters.
Montas threw 92 pitches to 22 batters Friday, that's 4.18 pitches per plate appearance. Averaging that total across every remaining game wouldn't just usurp the Phillies of 3.93 Pit/PA in 2021, but would crush 2021 league leaders New York Yankees' total of 4.10.
The Phillies' lineup is built for success over the course of a 162 game season. Offensively, they're extremely deep.
Matt Vierling serves as the Phillies nine-hole hitter. Had he qualified, he would've placed 9th among National League hitters in average exit velocity in 2021. He is replaceable by Mickey Moniak, who has shown a great deal of promise, in centerfield when one of the pair is injured.
If Stott, Gregorius or Segura is injured, Alec Bohm, 2020 Rookie of the Year runner-up, can take their place, with one of the aforementioned three moving to fill the leftover vacant position. Bohm can also be used to replace Schwarber, Castellanos, Hoskins or Harper if one of them has to miss time.
Prospect Logan O'Hoppe waits in the wings in case of injury or poor performance to Garrett Stubbs.
While the Phillies may lack the organizational depth that a regular championship contender typically carries, their fearsome lineup is perfectly capable of out-hitting the areas in which they fall short.
After all, they showed an ability to slug their way out of defensive and bullpen deficiencies on Opening Day, what's there to stop them the rest of season?
More From SI's Inside The Phillies:
- How Mike Trout Will Join the Phillies
- Phillies Top-10 Prospects Heading Into the 2022 MLB Season
- 18-Year-Old Phillies Prospect is Making History
- How did Philadelphia end up with Citizens Bank Park?
- How the Phillie Phanatic Came to be America's Favorite Sports Mascot
- This Unlikely Draft Pick Could be the Final Piece in the Phillies Next Blockbuster Trade
- Phillies 2022 Opening Day Roster Prediction
- Picking the Phillies' All-Time Single Season Lineup
- Why Did the Phillies Forget About These Top Prospects?
- Castellanos Shows He's Ready to Play in Philadelphia