Bryson Stott’s first major-league game wasn’t simply a test of his baseball ability, but also of his work in the infield and at the plate.
It was a test of his mental toughness, his perseverance, and his ability to get through one of those innings when the game smacks you in the face in front of 44,000 fans.
He aced the test.
Stott, 23, was a first-round draft pick by the Phillies in 2019. He is regarded as the team’s future shortstop, but he is now needed at third base.
He’s still learning the position, as seen by his throwing away of two balls in the seventh inning — both of which he had to charge — and his failure to make a diving stop on a difficult but maybe makeable play.
The Phillies had a 6-1 lead going into the eighth inning. The Oakland A’s scored four times in the fourth inning thanks to shoddy defense and a three-run homer by Aaron Nola, making it a one-run game.
The 44,232 in attendance, as well as everyone watching at home, we’re thinking, “Here we go again with the defense.” As the bullpen suddenly had to try to protect a one-run lead, the tension in the ballpark was palpable.
But the Phillies, like Stott, hung in there.
In the bottom of the eighth, Nick Castellanos doubled home a run to restore the two-run advantage, and the entire ballpark let out a sigh of relief.
The ball then found Stott at third base again at the beginning of the ninth inning. Twice. It’s time to get back on the horse.
He handled the two plays with ease this time. Hands that are capable. Throws that are powerful. Like Puddin’ Head Jones, Scott Rolen, and Pedro Feliz did in the past.
The Phillies added two more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to secure a 9-5 victory on opening day. In the inning, Stott produced his second hit of the day, an RBI double against southpaw Kirby Snead.
Overall, Stott had a big rebound inning, both offensively and defensively.