In his first appearance at Citizens Bank Park as a Phillie, Aaron Harang's debut got off to a rocky start upon Harang's first pitch at 7:07 p.m. Three batters and 3 minutes later, the Phils were in the hole 2-0 after a double from the Pirates' Gregor Polanco and a single from reigning NL MVP Andrew McCutchen put the Bucs in the lead.
"I definitely had to make some adjustments, getting used to the mound at the end," Harang said. "I really had to work to find my release point and get everything go."
The Phillies ultimately survived and pulled off a 7-5 comeback win, but Harang surrendered four earned runs in 4-2/3 innings, giving the team's offense great incentive to get their bats going. Harang faced 27 batters and hurled 104 pitchers, a real game's worth of play that Harang needed to illustrate he can endure through after some minor back issues he suffered during spring training in Clearwater, Fla., in March.
"I feel great. Everything's good," the 36-year-old righty said of his health going into the season. "Obviously, [this start]'s just kinda that fine tuneup to make sure everything's working."
Harang and the Phils surely hope so, as he's slated to pitch Wednesday night at home against the Red Sox and Rick Porcello that will mark his first regular-season start with the Phillies.
The Phils' offense, looking a little comatose all spring training, rang up seven runs against the Pirates, none more important than the three they scored in the ninth, erasing Pittsburgh's 5-4 lead. Who sent the fans home with a walkoff blast? Ben Revere, the hulking 5-9, 170-pound outfielder with only two home runs to his name in 2,026 career plate appearances.
After opening the ninth with a double, Cesar Hernandez scored on Andres Blanco's error-inducing bunt that left the latter on first. With Rene Garcia and Odubel Herrera making two quick outs, it was up to Revere to play hero. He pulled one from Pirates pitcher Angel Sanchez, as the ball landed just inches over the rightfield fence.
The Phillies announced that due to Friday's inclement weather conditions, tickets for this April 3rd game may be exchanged for any April Phils home game except for Monday's season opener against the Red Sox.
"We appreciate the fact that today's circumstances were not ideal for our fans, who are always our number one priority," said John Weber, vice president, sales and ticket operations. "We hope they can take advantage of enjoying another game at Citizens Bank Park this April."