Thursday was shaping up as a very important day for the Philadelphia sports teams. The 76ers will take on the Toronto Raptors in a critical game six of their playoff series, while the Eagles have a chance to shape the future of their team with two first round picks in the NFL Draft.
I won’t claim that an April game against the Colorado Rockies has the same gravity as those events, but it was a chance for the Phillies to complete a four-game sweep and even their record at .500 heading into this weekend’s showdown with the Mets. And that’s what the Phillies did, taking advantage of good pitching and a gaffe-prone opponent to earn a 7-1 victory.
Zack Wheeler got the start for the Phillies, and this was an encouraging outing for the team’s ace. After a slow start to the season caused by offseason soreness and an abbreviated Spring Training, Wheeler looked like his old self, striking out seven batters in six shutout innings.
Wheeler’s effort was more than enough to beat a Rockies team that has played laughably poorly this series. The Phillies’ first run was set up by a fielding error by Ryan McMahon.
I don't think McMahon will be sad to leave Philadelphia after today.— Allie (@mustang__sallie) April 28, 2022
In 3 games + 2 innings (so far) he has 4 errors and only 3 hits.
They gave up another run in the third when Roman Quinn reached base on a bunt single, stole two bases, and scored on a sacrifice fly. Quinn hasn’t shown he’s a consistent enough hitter to be a regular, not to mention his well-publicized injury woes. But his speed is a definite asset off the bench.
Roman Quinn is a runner, he's a track star pic.twitter.com/oiurn5agnD— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) April 28, 2022
The seventh inning basically summed up the series for the Rockies: They walked four batters - two with the bases loaded - hit another batter with the bases loaded, and committed their second error of the game leading to four insurance runs that put the game out of reach.
The Phillies only had four hits on the day, but one of them was by their young hitting star.
With two RBIs on the day, Alec Bohm has now taken over the team lead in that category. That’s impressive considering he couldn’t even crack the lineup a little over a week ago.
The Phillies will hopefully carry that momentum into this weekend’s showdown with the Mets. It’s still very early in the season, but the Mets appear to be living up to the preseason hype, and this will be a chance for the Phillies to show that the division race is going to be a close one.
And hopefully the city can carry this energy into tonight’s events. My hope is that the positivity created by Wheeler, Bohm, and company will inspire James Harden to re-discover his scoring touch, and it will help Howie Roseman select two future Pro Bowlers.