This wasn’t the Phils’ night, that’s for sure.
The Barves tagged the Phillies for 8 runs behind a Ronald Acuña, Jr. blast to dead center that left the bat at a whopping 114 mph, a Freddie Freeman two-run shot, and back-to-back Alec Bohm errors that set up an Ehire Adrianza pinch-hit three-run homer.
Ronald Acuña Jr. just HAMMERED this baseball pic.twitter.com/Xb5lYrREvx— Dillard Barnhart (@BarnHasSpoken) April 10, 2021
Andrew McCutchen drove in the only run for the Phillies when he singled in Jean Segura in the third.
What didn’t help the case was the ridiculous strike zone imposed on Zack Wheeler by home plate ump Carlos Torres. Wheeler placed at least five pitches beautifully within the strike zone, but for whatever reason, Torres decided to call them balls anyway. These absolute blunders unnecessarily ran up Wheeler’s pitch count and forced him to throw pitches he normally wouldn’t. The pinched zone made Wheeler hang ugly pitches over the plate, and, to their credit, the Braves took advantage of it.
It’s the third inning and Zack Wheeler has thrown four or five pitches that should have been called strikes but weren’t.— Tim Kelly (@TimKellySports) April 10, 2021
Wheeler threw 94 pitches and only went 4.2 innings. Brandon Kitzler wasn’t much better in relief, though the two unfortunate Bohm errors didn’t help him. Surprisingly, David Hale had a relatively successful second appearance in 2021, besides the Freeman homer.
Strikeouts once again plagued the Phillies, as the Braves pitchers wrung up 10 batters, 4 of them looking. It was the fifth time this season they’ve hit double-digits. With 72 already on the season through seven games, they’re on pace right now to strike out over 1,660 times this season. In order to win games, they have to score runs and in order to score runs, they have to put the ball in play. Striking out an average of 10 times per game is just not going to cut it long-term.
On a positive note, Zack Wheeler is still capable of throwing pitches like this. And while he was seemingly not at his best in this game, there wasn’t really any reason for long-term concern for him.
Zack Wheeler, Nasty 80mph Curveball. pic.twitter.com/UAZ1Daw3lO— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 10, 2021
This smooth double play from Didi Gregorius was also nice to see.
Also, please enjoy this video of Bryce Harper telling an idiot Barves fan how to pronounce his franchise superstar’s name.
Overall, it was not a good night for the Phillies. But hey, the beauty about baseball is there’s another game tomorrow. And at least you know how to pronounce your team’s players’ names. See y’all tomorrow at 7:20 for the future Cy Young winner Zach Eflin.