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Three Wheeler: Phillies 2, Brewers 0

Zack Wheeler’s three-hit shutout leads the Phillies to a sweep

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Philadelphia Phillies
Powder blue? Check. Dominant pitching by Zack Wheeler? Check.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

After winning three straight one-run games over the Brewers, it would have been nice if the Phillies could have had an easy win on Thursday afternoon. But easy wins aren’t really the Phillies’ thing, and with Brandon Woodruff on the mound for the Brewers, runs were at a premium.

Fortunately, as good as Woodruff was, Zack Wheeler was even better. He pitched a three-hit shutout, leading the Phillies to a 2-0 win and a series sweep.

The Phillies offense looked like they might be headed for a big day when the first two hitters got on base. But Woodruff quickly worked out of that jam, and then began to cruise. The Phillies managed just one baserunner over the next five innings.

Meanwhile, Wheeler was coasting through the Brewers’ lineup. He allowed just one hit through the first eight innings, and that runner was quickly erased by - suspend your disbelief - a nice play by Rhys Hoskins, who snagged a line drive, and doubled the runner off second.

It looked like Wheeler’s superb pitching might be for naught, but Alec Bohm finally got to Woodruff in the seventh.

The following inning, with Woodruff out of the game, Rhys Hoskins gave Wheeler a little more breathing room.

Wheeler didn’t actually need that breathing room, although when he allowed two hits in the ninth, we were all glad he had it.

For a second, it looked like Joe Girardi was going to relieve Wheeler with one out left to go, but he gave his pitcher a chance to finish things off, and Wheeler did not disappoint. He got Daniel Vogelbach to foul out, and sent the afternoon crowd home happy.

When this series began, some of the more pessimistic Phillies fans were giving up on the team. But after completing a sweep of what had been a first place team, things are looking up. The Phillies didn’t look like world beaters this series (+5 run differential for the four-game sweep), but four wins is four wins. With three games in Atlanta this weekend, we’ll soon find out if this sweep was a sign that the team is finally hitting its stride, or just a uptick in what may prove to be a slog of a season.