On the day the Philadelphia Phillies honored Roy Halladay, Zack Wheeler took the mound and did his best to imitate the late, great Doc. He did him proud by pitching a complete game shutout. After giving up a leadoff double to Brandon Nimmo, Wheeler went on to retire the next 22 hitters until he issued a walk to Conforto in the eighth. The only other baserunner would be Nimmo again in the ninth on a bloop single.
Wheeler looked fantastic as he needed just 50 pitches to get through the fourth, and continued his efficiency as he used a total of 108 pitches to get through 9 innings. Here was his pitch count per inning after the fourth:
Fifth inning: 9 pitches
Sixth inning: 8 pitches
Seventh inning: 12 pitches
Eighth inning: 13 pitches
Ninth: 16 pitches
Wheeler had help early as both Jean Segura and JT Realumuto homered off of New York Mets starting pitcher Taijuan Walker in the first inning to take 2-0 lead.
Philadelphia tacked on to their lead when Bryce Harper launched his 20th home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth inning to make it 3-0. It was his 18th solo home run of the season, a statistically impressive feat. Harper is continuing to make his case for the NL MVP award, and his campaign has kicked into full swing during this series with the Mets. It couldn’t have come at a better time.
On the day when Halladay’s number was on the back of the mound, Wheeler fired off a two-hit, 11 strikeout, complete game shutout of the Mets to finish the three-game sweep. Wheeler, like Harper, is also on the campaign trail for some hardware. His effort on Sunday has only helped intensify the NL Cy Young talk that now surrounds Wheeler.
Philadelphia is watching its stars step up at precisely the right time as they look to earn a postseason berth for the first time in a decade.
With the victory on Sunday afternoon, the Phillies now sit at 59-53 on the season and have maintained their lead in the NL East.
They will host the Los Angeles Dodgers for a series that begins on Tuesday evening. Aaron Nola will take the mound on Tuesday as he looks to make a turnaround after his last couple of performances.