Ok, yes, Alec Bohm went off tonight.
Not known for hitting for power this season, Bohm was the sole provider of offense tonight for either team. In a pitching performance that was vintage, Adam Wainwright was able to hold the Phillies in an off balance situation all night. He only registered a handful of strikeouts, so making use of his defense was what made him effective, but there was one batter he could not solve. One batter he could not get a grip on. That batter was Alec Bohm.
First, in the sixth inning,
then again in the eighth inning,
Alec Bohm’s swing. More beautiful than a California sunset.pic.twitter.com/mc4jrIqvH2— Dan Wilson (@dan_wilson4) July 9, 2022
Bohm gave the Phillies everything they needed. Sure, there was a smattering of hits, but to call them “scattered” would not be sufficient. The team was completely baffled on the evening, but made use of Bohm at his best.
As great as he was though, Bohm was outshone. Outshone by the team’s ace, Zack Wheeler.
When it was announced that Wheeler was going to be moved up to tonight’s start, the reasons were clear. With a trip to Toronto looming, Rob Thomson was going to be short players, but he wanted to make sure that Wheeler was going to be available for one of those two games. The only way to do so was to adjust things so that he would be. That meant that Wheeler might be a bit off schedule and tonight’s start was going to be watched closely in case there were issues.
There were no issues.
Wheeler was simply masterful. He also relied on his defense on the evening, only striking out five, but going seven innings on 97 pitches while having his entire routine upended (if just for a day) is why he is an ace.
Following up on this: Zack Wheeler now has a lower ERA *since* May (1.649) — when he won NL Pitcher of the Month — than he did *in* May (1.653).— Nathan Ackerman (@NathanAckerman_) July 9, 2022
And he has a lower season ERA (2.46) than he did last year (2.78), when he finished second in Cy Young voting. https://t.co/WzWH08BbDi
This is what aces do, they step up and deliver in difficult circumstances. The team is staring down the barrel of a roster shakeup next week and they’ll need Wheeler then and now. Tonight, he gave them the now they needed.
Let’s not forget Bohm, though. He has been criticized for not hitting for power despite having the pedigree of being a power hitter coming through the farm system. While the team has been patient with him this season, there has no doubt been a bit of disappointment that he isn’t doing a bit more. If tonight can get him kickstarted a bit to become more of a power threat in the lineup. the continued of absence of Bryce Harper may not be as bad as we thought it might be.
Kyle Schwarber can’t do it all alone.
These two teams will go back at it Saturday at 4:00.