Braves Fall To Phillies In Opener, Harper Held Hitless
Photo Credit: AJC
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Bryce Harper struck out twice in green Phanatic cleats in his $330 million debut and bowed to thousands of fans in No. 3 jerseys who gave him rousing standing ovations in the Philadelphia Phillies' 10-4 win over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday.
Harper had the city electric in anticipation for his first game in Philly since he signed a $330 million, 13-year deal that was briefly the richest in baseball.
He went 0 for 3 with an intentional walk and failed to deliver a big hit -- but no worries, the Phillies picked up the scoring slack. Harper's presence in the lineup helped blow the game open when the Braves walked the lefty slugger to load the bases. Rhys Hoskins, once the franchise player, followed with a grand slam off reliever Luke Jackson that blew open the game.
Citizens Bank Park was packed with nearly 45,000 fans dressed like their new favorite player and ready to go wild, hours before the first pitch. Harper fist-bumped fans as the Phillies walked through the outfield stands and onto the red carpet on the field for opening day festivities. He got his first standing O when he jogged out for the lineup introduction -- his green cleats visible from the last row of the upper deck -- and heard another when he dug in for his first at-bat in the first inning.