Sunday was a big day at the South Philadelphia sports complex. Anticipation has been building over this day, with the cap on crowds getting raised just in time for fans to make it down there to cheer on their team. They were ready to scream for their starters to set the tone against one of the league’s better scorers. Of course, we all know I am talking about Zack Wheeler getting the ball against the Boston offense, one that has produced quite well and quite consistently this year.
Why, was there another game in town today?
Wheeler looked to continue his amazing home start streak, one that saw him coming into the game having given up exactly one run in his last sixteen innings pitched on the mound at Citizens Bank Park. He’s been stellar here and with the team looking to be a little gassed in the bullpen, they needed a strong start from Zack.
The offense would oblige.
After a quick first inning by Wheeler, the offense, with two outs no less, got things going right away in the first. Odubel Herrera was hit by a pitch, then stole second during a Jean Segura strike out. Facing a shifted offense, Rhys Hoskins showed off his hitting skill and punched one through the right side to score Herrera and put the Phillies on the board, 1-0. When Alec Bohm walked (after Hoskins stole second!), Brad Miller strolled to the plate looking to inch closer to career home run #100. This at bat, he got #99.
Phillies needed this three-run, opposite-field home run from Brad Miller in the first. pic.twitter.com/RJTte1hd5l— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) May 23, 2021
With a four run lead and the way Wheeler has pitched at home, it felt like enough.
Wheeler would proceed to mow down the Red Sox lineup with relative ease. Enrique Hernandez got a single in the first inning off of Wheeler. The next time someone would get another hit would be in the sixth inning, when Hernandez singled again. They would threaten a bit with a walk after that hit, but Wheeler struck out Rafael Devers to end the threat. In the eighth, Boston did get on the board when Franchy Cordero homered to break the scoreless streak off of Wheeler, but that would turn out to be the end of the scoring against Wheeler for Boston.
For the Phillies, though, it would not be the end as the eighth saw them push two more runs across the plate on an Andrew McCutchen sacrifice fly and an Odubel Herrera double. Archie Bradley came on in the ninth and though he gave up a home run to Devers, he was able to lock up a much needed victory for the Phillies before they head to Miami and their own personal house of horrors.