Zack Wheeler’s first child was born this week and he made his debut with a new team. Nothing should blow him away right now, but Phil Gosselin’s performance Saturday managed to catch Wheeler’s eye.
Wheeler was dominant in his first start as a Phillie, scattering five hits and one run over seven innings. Still, the game was tied at one heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, giving you the impression the Phillies may waste a quality performance.
And then, the goose got loose.
Gosselin, who hadn’t homered since April of 2018, hit two home runs and drove in three runs in the final two at-bats of the game, propelling the Phillies to a 7-1 victory. After the game, Wheeler was asked if he believes he could get Gosselin, who got scorching hot in summer camp, out right now.
“No, probably not,” Wheeler said with a laugh after Saturday’s victory.
Joe Girardi started Gosselin at DH Saturday, a decision the manager said “made him look really smart” after his first victory with the team. Wheeler, who admitted Friday that he isn’t a fan of the universal DH and will miss hitting, was asked what it was like not getting to bat Saturday.
“Well, when you have Phil out there, you don’t have to worry about it,” Wheeler quipped.
Though Wheeler did add that he hopes the DH is just a one-year thing in the National League, the 30-year-old was among Gosselin’s teammates that couldn’t hide their excitement at his performance Saturday.
Gosselin said after the game that when he returned to the dugout following his second home run, Jay Bruce asked him if he had ever homered twice in a game in his major league career. Gosselin, who hasn’t, said he proceeded to laugh in Bruce’s face.
Fans comes to the stadium or turn on games to watch Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Aaron Nola and Wheeler. But one of the things that makes sports so fun is when a player like Gosselin, 31, has a day like this for his hometown team. It was a moment that wasn’t lost on his teammates, and almost certainly will push him into the lineup in some form on Sunday.
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