Aaron Nola
Whit Merrifield is gearing up for his Phillies debut this Saturday, as the team aims to rebound against the Braves at Citizens Bank Park. 
 
The 35-year-old Merrifield has recently signed a one-year contract with the Phillies worth $8 million, along with an enticing $8 million club option for 2025. His standout performance as an All-Star in 2023 with the Blue Jays, boasting a .272 batting average, 11 home runs, 67 RBIs, and 26 stolen bases, underscores his potential impact on the team. 
 
Meanwhile, Brandon Marsh, who played a crucial role in the Phillies' offense on Friday, will be absent from the lineup as the Braves send left-hander Max Fried to the mound.
 
The Phillies had a tough time at the plate, mustering only five hits and tallying 15 strikeouts in yesterday's 9-3 loss. The top four spots in the lineup, featuring Kyle Schwarber, Trea Turner, Bryce Harper, and J.T. Realmuto, went 0-for-14 with seven strikeouts and only two walks. 
 
The bullpen also faced challenges, surrendering nine runs on eight hits, five walks, and a wild pitch over three innings. 
 
Reflecting on the tough outing, pitcher Jose Alvarado remarked, "That's baseball. Today is over though, now to be ready for tomorrow." 
 
Saturday will mark Aaron Nola's season debut after signing a seven-year, $172 million extension last winter to remain with the club. Nola boasts an impressive record against the Braves at Citizens Bank Park, with the Phillies winning 14 out of his 19 starts (.737 win %), and Nola himself posting a 13-3 record with a 2.62 ERA (36 ER, 123.2 IP) in those games. 
 
The Braves will counter with Fried, who will make his 20th appearance and 14th start against Philadelphia. Fried holds an even 4-4 record with a 3.62 ERA (32 ER/79.2 IP) over his first 19 games against the Phillies. In his sole start against them last season, he allowed four hits and one run over 5.0 innings in a no-decision. 
 
Phillies Lineup
  1. Schwarber DH 
  2. Turner 6 
  3. Harper 3 
  4. Realmuto 2 
  5. Bohm 5 
  6. Castellanos 9 
  7. Stott 4 
  8. Merrifield 7 
  9. Rojas 8

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