2021 Postgame Recaps

Zack Wheeler becomes NL Cy Young Award favorite with complete-game shutout

Zack Wheeler has been dominant in 2021. (Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

Final Score: Phillies 3, Mets 0

Zack Wheeler perhaps formed an exploratory committee early on in 2021 as he pondered a run at the National League Cy Young Award, but another dominant outing Sunday cemented things: the 31-year-old is very much in the race for the top honor a pitcher can receive.

And he might not be the only Phillie in the running for a major award.

The environment at Citizens Bank Park Sunday was about as electric as it has been for any given day in the last decade. Hall of Famer Roy Halladay’s No. 34 was retired before the game, with former teammates Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Raúl Ibañez receiving thunderous applause upon their introductions.

Brandon Nimmo doubled off of Wheeler to lead off the game, but a lifeless Mets offense was unable to bring him home. From there, the Phillies bats capitalized on the energy in the ballpark with Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto both hitting solo home runs:

From there, Wheeler did the rest, retiring 22 consecutive batters and turning in his third complete game of the season. Wheeler is now tied with Colorado’s Germán Márquez for the most complete games in baseball this season, and his two complete-game shutouts put him in a tie for the league-lead in the category as well. He wasn’t the National League Cy Young Award favorite entering his 23rd start of the season, but it’s hard to believe he won’t be now:

Speaking of awards races, Bryce Harper has emerged as a contender for the National League MVP Award given injuries to the trio of Ronald Acuña Jr., Fernando Tatís Jr. and Jacob deGrom. Harper — who won the award in 2015 — also homered Sunday, his 20th of the season:

The Phillies went on to defeat the Mets, sweeping a weekend series at Citizens Bank Park that felt something like the mid-2000s. The Phillies are 59-53, having won eight consecutive games. They’ll head into an off day Monday with some breathing room in the National League East as a series with the defending World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers looms.

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance

  • Taijuan Walker allowed three home runs Sunday, but still gave the Mets a chance to win the game, going six innings and allowing just three runs.
  • Zack Wheeler turned his 14th career double-digit strikeout game Sunday, six of which have come in 2021, per the Phillies.

Phillies Nugget Of The Game

Halladay was at the forefront of the conversation Sunday, but as Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer noted, Wheeler threw more like his former teammate Jacob deGrom:

Ticket IQ Next Game

  • Tuesday, Aug. 10 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park
  • 7:05 p.m. ET
  • TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
  • Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP


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