Bryce Harper had something to say. So, after being presented with the National League MVP award in a pregame ceremony Saturday, he stepped to a podium, held back tears, and made brief remarks, including eight words that may serve as the keynote to the Phillies’ season.

“Let’s go have a party on Broad Street.”

Nick Castellanos, still new to town, confessed he doesn’t know yet where that is. But he brought a noisemaker anyway, swatting his first Phillies home run in the first inning and starting them en route to a 4-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics before another jam-packed house at Citizens Bank Park.

“I don’t [know Broad Street],” Castellanos said, “but apparently all the fans do.”

» READ MORE: Why Bryce Harper is the perfect Philadelphia athlete | Scott Lauber

Told that Broad Street is the main thoroughfare through Center City, bisected by City Hall, where Philadelphia’s championship teams are feted with a parade, Castellanos nodded.

“Fantastic. Makes sense,” he said. “So, if the Eagles win the Super Bowl, it’s Broad Street also? OK, got it.”

Castellanos will learn. Meantime, he hasn’t wasted time endearing himself to a new fan base. Like his power-hitting partner, Kyle Schwarber, 25 hours earlier on opening day, Castellanos went deep in the first inning. It was one of three Phillies homers, with Rhys Hoskins and Jean Segura going back-to-back in the sixth inning.

It’s all part of the Phillies formula: Crush the ball, early, often, and without mercy on opposing pitchers.

OK, before we go further, a caveat: Nobody expects the A’s to be any good this season. They traded four of their best players last month and have a $47 million payroll, roughly the combined 2022 salaries for Harper and Castellanos.

But victories over Oakland count the same as wins over any other team, and the Phillies struggled to beat Arizona, Colorado, Baltimore, and other tomato cans down the stretch last season.

So, starting pitcher Kyle Gibson gladly took his 10 strikeouts, one shy of matching his career high. And after Harper got hit by a pitch on the left elbow, Castellanos happily ambushed a first-pitch sinker from A’s lefty Cole Irvin, the former Phillie, and drove it into the left-field bleachers.

“It fires me up,” Harper said. “Any time you get hit or you walk and the guy behind you goes deep, that’s why he’s here. That’s one of the reasons they brought him here. Very cool moment for him. I think everyone was pretty fired up about that.”

Indeed, the twin signings of Schwarber and Castellanos took the Phillies’ offense into another dimension. And they have announced their presences loudly.

Schwarber stole the show in the opener with a leadoff homer in the first inning. Castellanos, signed to bat behind Harper, picked up an RBI double in the opener before taking Irvin deep.

» READ MORE: Why Dave Dombrowski thought the Phillies needed to change their chemistry

“It felt good, man,” Castellanos said. “It felt fantastic. And it was the answer to Bryce getting hit by a pitch. That’s my job.”

Said manager Joe Girardi: “A lot of times when you’re a big signing, you want to make a good impression. I think sometimes guys get really caught up with validating what they got. When you get off to a good start, that kind of goes away a little bit.”

Now all Castellanos needs is a map. Or a tour guide. But he isn’t alone. Gibson, who spent the final two months of last season with the Phillies, said he also has “no idea where that street is.”

Harper can always show them around.

“As long as they don’t go there after the streetlights come on, we’ll be OK,” Harper said. “Just kidding. They’ll figure it out by the end of the year.”

Gibson’s a 10

In his first start of the season, Gibson — Kyle, not Bob — retired 14 consecutive batters after a one-out single in the first inning and held the A’s to two hits in seven scoreless innings. He also didn’t issue a walk, following Aaron Nola’s six walk-free innings Friday.

“It’s something that we’re trying to do, be in the strike zone and attack and take control of the counts,” Gibson said. “Today it worked out.”

Gibson also benefited from solid infield defense. In the fifth inning, Segura dove for Elvis Andrus’ smash, got to his feet, and made an on-time throw. Hoskins started and finished a 3-6-3 double play in the sixth.

» READ MORE: Kyle Schwarber’s Phillies debut: ‘I couldn’t write it any better’

Third watch

After sitting out opening day in favor of rookie Bryson Stott, Alec Bohm started at third base and went 2-for-2 with a double and a walk. The double came on a 92-mph fastball from Irvin. Bohm batted .190 against fastballs last season.

But Girardi also replaced Bohm for defense in the seventh inning, turning to Johan Camargo.

“Camargo’s our best defensive third baseman,” Girardi said. “I wanted Alec to end on a really good note. It was kind of what I thought was best.”

Up next

Zach Eflin will be opposed by Athletics rookie right-hander Daulton Jefferies in the series finale at 1:05 p.m. Sunday. It will mark Eflin’s first start 268 days. He had surgery on his right knee in September.