Phillies Nation

2020 Postgame Recaps

Growing pains for Wheeler, offense in first and only home exhibition game of summer camp


Sunday marked the Phillies’ first televised exhibition game since March 10. The stadium was empty as baseball scribes and staff were the only ones able to watch from inside.

Zack Wheeler is entering his first season with the Phillies. (Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)

Empty stadium baseball didn’t come without growing pains. As Andrew McCutchen settled into the box for his first at-bat, the game was delayed. Some of the audio from NBC Sports Philadelphia’s broadcast reverberated around the ballpark for all to hear. It sounded likely a poorly executed soundcheck. Nonetheless, I do not envy the person who is in charge of making this entire process run as smoothly as possible from an audio perspective.

On the mound, Zack Wheeler had the ball for the Phillies. The results were mixed for the 30-year-old pitcher as he allowed two runs on four hits while facing 16 batters. He had the velocity but his command is still a work in progress as he found himself in a three-ball count eight times.

As of now, Wheeler should pitch the second game of the opening series against the Marlins. His first child is due in a matter of days so all of that can change in an instant. Joe Girardi has not officially named an Opening Day starter, but it’s only a matter of time before he announces Aaron Nola as the starter for July 24.

For the Orioles, former Phillie Tom Eshelman impressed against a lineup that scored seven runs off Max Scherzer the prior night. The offense could only muster one run in the seventh off a McCutchen single that scored Mikie Mahtook, who doubled in the previous at-bat. Mahtook would go down as the only Phillie to record an extra-base hit.

Connor Brogdon, José Álvarez, Victor Arano, Reggie McClain and Austin Davis all combined to surrender two runs through five innings. Both of those runs came off solo home runs. Cedric Mullins homered off McClain and Pat Valaika went deep to left field off Davis.

In another summer camp oddity, the Phillies and Orioles played an additional inning half-inning in order to let Trevor Kelley pitch an inning. That didn’t turn out well as Kelley surrendered the third solo home run of the game and the second on the first pitch of an inning for the Phillies.

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