I love pitcher’s duels. They’re tense, you hand on every pitch and in this day of launch angles and exit velocity, it’s becoming increasingly rare to see one.
Today, the fans at Citizens Bank Park were treated to one of these duels as Zack Wheeler and Jays phenom Nate Pearson battled for 6 innings, trading zeros on the scoreboard. The game was sent to the bullpen and there there the duel continued until the bottom of the tenth, when Ken Giles faced Jay Bruce.
There were some close calls for the teams. In the top of the fourth, the Blue Jays got men on second and third with two outs before Wheeler struck out Pearson to end that threat. In the eighth, the Jays got men on first and second with one out, but Adam Morgan, who himself was relieving Jose Alvarez, got Randal Grichuk to ground into a double play.
For the Phillies, the closest they got to scoring on this pitiful offensive day was in the eighth, when Didi Gregorius doubled to lead off the inning, then went to third on a fielder’s choice, but was stranded there to end the inning.
In the bottom of the tenth, the fireworks were lit.
Ken Giles was curiously brought in to start the inning, but walked J.T. Realmuto before facing Bruce.
Bruce got a 98 mile per hour fastball and left it into the right field stands, ending the ballgame.
It was a good win and great way to head to Cincinnati.