Jeremy Hellickson got the Opening Day start for the Phillies on Monday afternoon against the Reds. He accomplished an Opening Day feat that no Phillie had done since 1918, but he did it in the batter’s box, not on the mound: Hellickson hit an RBI triple in the top of the sixth inning off of Blake Wood. Hellickson became the first Phillies pitcher to triple on Opening Day since Erskine Mayer on April 16, 1918 in the Baker Bowl.
Hellickson, however, regrets hitting that triple because it literally took his breath away. Per Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Hellickson said, “I was catching my breath for about 30 minutes after I got back in there. Last time I’ll be doing that.”
Hellickson’s teammates told him to take some extra time to catch his breath in the dugout before going out to pitch the bottom half of the sixth. He gave up a leadoff double to Adam Duvall before manager Pete Mackanin relieved him with Joaquin Benoit. Mackanin said he had a quick hook with Hellickson as a combination of the triple, the right-hander’s pitch count, the stressful third and fourth innings, and heavy air from a storm that passed through.