Final Score: Phillies 6, Red Sox 2
Few starters in the major leagues have been as good as Zack Wheeler.
In a game in which the Phillies bullpen desperately needed a breather, Wheeler went 7 1/3 innings against a tough Red Sox lineup. He struck out 12 batters, induced 21 swings-and-misses and allowed just his third earned run since his May 1 outing against the Mets.
Sunday’s outing was Wheeler’s sixth consecutive outing in which he has thrown at least six innings or more. The Phillies paid for an ace in December of 2019 when they gave Wheeler a five-year contract worth $118 million. He’s done nothing but live up to expectations since he first took the mound for Philadelphia in 2020.
Brad Miller’s three-run home run in the first was all the Phillies needed to secure the win. They added on two more runs in the eighth to set up a non-save situation in the ninth for Archie Bradley. Two errors and a home run in the final frame made it interesting, but the Phillies hung on.
The Phillies will play their next six games in the state of Florida. They have a four-game set against the Marlins up next and a two-game weekend mini-series against the Rays at Tropicana Field.
- The Phillies scored four runs in the first with two outs. Odúbel Herrera reached on a hit-by-pitch and stole second. Rhys Hoskins drove him in on a single through the vacated hole between first and second. Hoskins also stole second. The next hitter Alec Bohm walked and Brad Miller brought them all home with a three-run opposite field home run off the foul pole’s netting in left field.
- Both Ronald Torreyes and Wheeler reached on a single after the first two hitters, Miller and Andrew Knapp, were caught looking at strike three. Andrew McCutchen had a chance to bring home more runs, but like Miller and Knapp, McCutchen couldn’t take the bat off his shoulders. The team had six strikeouts through four innings.
- Wheeler’s streak of 17 consecutive batters retired ended in the fifth with a single by Kiké Hernandez, who had the Red Sox’s only two hits against Wheeler up to that point. The Phillies starter walked the next batter Danny Santana but retired Rafael Devers on strikes for the second time this afternoon.
- Franchy Cordero clobbered a fastball and sent it all the way to Chickie’s & Pete’s in Ashburn Alley for a 474 foot home run. Wheeler’s velocity on the particular fastball was down, which was a sign that Girardi was close to taking his starter out.
- McCutchen extended the Phillies’ lead in the eighth on a sacrifice fly to center field. The previous batter, Matt Joyce, was called upon to pinch-hit over Bryce Harper. Joyce was intentionally walked to load the bases for McCutchen. Girardi preferred to give Harper a full day off.
- The next batter Herrera hit his second double of the game to drive in another run. Segura had a chance to drive in a couple more runs, but Joyce was caught in a run-down between third and home on a wild pitch that didn’t drift too far away from the plate.
- On his third pitch of the afternoon, Archie Bradley surrendered a solo home run to Rafael Devers. It cut the Phillies’ lead to four.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
Eduardo Rodriguez: 4 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO, 1 HR, 103 pitches
Dating back to May 14, 2019, Eduardo Rodriguez had a 36-game streak in which he has thrown at least five innings in all of his starts. That streak came to an end today as Rodriguez was unable to record an out in the fifth. While Rodriguez racked up a ton of strikeouts against Phillies hitters who are prone to swinging and missing, he struggled to retire the opposing lineup with two outs. As a result, Rodriguez’s pitch count reached triple digits in the fifth inning.
Zack Wheeler: 7 1/3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 12 SO, 1 HR, 98 pitches
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Zack Wheeler
No matter how miserable the offense, defense, bullpen, bench and the rest of the starting rotation can be at times, the Phillies know they have a chance to win when Wheeler takes the mound. On Sunday afternoon, the 30-year-old matched his career high in strikeouts (12) and became just the tenth Phillies pitcher since 1972 to strike out at least 10 batters in consecutive games.
- During the game, the Phillies announced that they have claimed RHP Brady Lail off waivers from the Seattle Mariners. To make room on the 40-man roster for Lail, RHP Ramón Rosso, who has struggled in Triple-A this year, was designated for assignment. Lail was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Lail has allowed one earned run in six innings for Triple-A Tacoma this year. The Utah native has a 6.00 ERA in 21 innings pitched with the Mariners and Chicago White Sox.
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- Monday, May 24 vs. Miami Marlins at 6:40 pm. ET
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