Final Score: Phillies 4, Braves 3 (10 innings)
For the Phillies to even think about competing for a division title this season, they have to win with Zack Wheeler on the mound. The Phillies starting pitcher threw eight shutout innings, striking out 12. He’s only the second pitcher this season to strike out at least 12 batters without walking anyone in a start. The other guy happens to be Wheeler’s former teammate Jacob deGrom, who did it twice in two consecutive outings in April.
Luckily, the Phillies offense was able to overcome a blown save from Héctor Neris as well as a poor outing from José Alvarado. Down by two runs, the Phillies mustered together three consecutive hits. Alec Bohm’s RBI single brought the Phillies to within one. An Odúbel Herrera double set up two runners in scoring position for Jean Segura, who went after a pitch early in the count from Chris Martin and smacked it into the left-center field wall to give the Phillies a 3-2 victory.
The Phillies are now 4-2 on the current homestand. They’ll finish off with a quick two-game set against the New York Yankees. Vince Velasquez will oppose Jameson Taillon.
- Take a moment to appreciate this 94 mph slider from Wheeler on the outside corner to Abraham Almonte in the second.
- Also in that inning, Segura made an excellent diving play at second to get Austin Riley out at first.
- Not much else happened on offense. Wheeler and Anderson combined to allow just five hits through six innings. Wheeler’s sixth inning punch out against Ronald Acuña Jr. was his 10th of the day. It’s the fifth time in six starts this season he has achieved this mark.
- The Phillies finally scored in the eighth inning. Herrera narrowly missed out on a home run and arguably could have had a triple if he ran out of the box. It didn’t matter since a Segura double brought him home. The play was not ruled an error, but Austin Riley poorly judged the hop and the ball landed in left field.
- But the Braves came back on a Freddie Freeman home run to dead center. Herrera had a chance to rob Freeman of the home run, but he just missed it. It’s the first earned run surrendered by Neris since May 8 against Atlanta.
- Joe Girardi unloaded the bench in the ninth in an attempt to win the game. Andrew Knapp walked with two outs and was replaced by Travis Jankowski at first. Brad Miller batted for Ronald Torreyes, who grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the inning. In the top of the tenth, Rafael Marchan came in to catch. Alec Bohm entered the game to play third and Luke Williams moved from third base to shortstop.
- Alvarado struggled to throw strikes in the tenth inning. With a 2-0 count, a sinker got away from Marchan and the ghost runner Swanson scored. Another run scored on a passed ball to give the Braves a 3-1 lead.
- Bohm, who has looked much more comfortable at the plate in recent games, cut the lead to one with a single the other way in the bottom of the tenth. Herrera doubled to put two runners in scoring position. Segura brought them all home with a single off the left-center field wall. A two-run deficit, even with a runner on second to start the inning, seemed insurmountable considering how the offense looked all game. All they needed was 10 pitches to secure the victory.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
Ian Anderson: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 98 pitches
The Phillies ran Anderson’s pitch count up in the first couple of frames, but Anderson was able to get the Phillies to swing early in the count and keep his pitch count down. Thursday was a good rebound for Anderson, who gave up a combined eight earned runs in his last two starts.
Zack Wheeler: 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 12 SO, 105 pitches
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Zack Wheeler
Zack Wheeler has not only solidified himself among the top pitchers in baseball, he might be one of the better players in the game. After Thursday, his ERA sits at 2.29. It’s the third time he has thrown at least eight innings in a start, which is good for a tie with Adam Wainwright for the second-best mark in baseball.
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Saturday, June 12 vs. New York Yankees at 4:05 pm ET
- NBC Sports Philadelphia; MLB Network
- 94 WIP
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