On April 1, 2023, the Texas Rangers faced the Philadelphia Phillies in their season opener at Citizens Bank Park. The game featured a marquee pitching matchup between the Rangers’ ace Jacob deGrom and the Phillies’ veteran starter Zack Wheeler. In the end, it was deGrom who stole the show with a dominant performance that showcased his elite skills and set the tone for the Rangers’ season.
deGrom’s masterful outing
deGrom, who won his third Cy Young award in 2022, picked up where he left off by blanking the Phillies over seven innings while striking out 13 batters and allowing only two hits and no walks. He threw 92 pitches, 69 of them strikes, and induced 23 swings and misses. His fastball, which averaged 98 mph, topped out at 101 mph, and his slider and changeup were equally effective, generating a combined 13 whiffs. deGrom’s command, control, and poise were on full display, as he kept the Phillies’ hitters off balance with his mix of velocity, movement, and location.
Rangers’ offense provides support
While deGrom was mowing down the Phillies, the Rangers’ offense provided him with enough run support to secure the win. In the top of the third inning, the Rangers scored two runs on a single by Nick Solak and a double by Joey Gallo. In the top of the sixth inning, the Rangers added another run on a solo homer by Adolis Garcia. The Rangers’ bullpen, led by closer Liam Hendriks, closed out the game with two scoreless innings, securing the Rangers’ 3-0 victory.
deGrom sets high expectations for Rangers
deGrom’s dominant performance on Opening Day not only showcased his individual brilliance but also set high expectations for the Rangers’ season. deGrom, who signed a five-year, $150 million contract with the Rangers in 2022, is expected to be the anchor of the Rangers’ rotation and a leader on and off the field. His dedication, work ethic, and professionalism are admired by his teammates and coaches, and his commitment to excellence is contagious. The Rangers, who finished with a 90-72 record in 2022 and advanced to the ALCS before losing to the Boston Red Sox, are hoping to build on their success and compete for a championship in 2023.
In conclusion, Jacob deGrom’s Opening Day debut for the Texas Rangers was a memorable one, as he delivered a masterful performance that showcased his elite skills and set high expectations for the Rangers’ season. deGrom’s dominant outing, coupled with the Rangers’ solid offense and bullpen, secured a 3-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies and provided a glimpse of what the Rangers are capable of achieving this season. As the Rangers embark on their 2023 campaign, they can count on deGrom to be a driving force behind their success and a symbol of their aspirations.