It’s hard to pick a point where to start talking but if anyone had to pick one, it’s for Zack Wheeler’s start.
To put it simply, he was masterful. Wheeler dominated early with the strikeout, recording five in the first two innings. He settled into recording ground balls for the middle innings and used whatever he had left in the tank to go 7.1 innings without a hit.
After a disappointing start in Washington, it was the type of bounce-back outing you dream of.
Zack Wheeler's 5Ks in the first 2 innings. ⛽️ pic.twitter.com/n9ZPvlmTwo— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 8, 2023
Zack Wheeler's 6th and 7th Ks— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 8, 2023
Thru 5...and pic.twitter.com/mUuF3e1UE7
It took until the 6th inning for the Philadelphia Phillies to break the scoreless tie. It was the top of the lineup that did the damage. With one out, Schwarber worked a full-count walk. Castellanos pulled an inside sinker to left which sent Schwarber to third.
It all followed with Bryce Harper poking a changeup to left which allowed Schwarber to tag off a wide throw to make it 1-0.
It took over seven innings for the Tigers to put together some positive momentum. First was a bouncer from Jonathan Scoop which forced Harrison to make an off-balanced throw, that throw would become a tough hop for Kody Clemens, leading to an error.
Tyler Nevin then poked a single to right for the Detroit Tigers first hit of the night. Wheeler then received a massive ovation as Rob Thomson came out to pull him after 108 pitches.
The Phillies’ defense then became an issue, Zach Short laid down a bunt that took such a high bounce to Seranthony Domínguez, he had no play at all. He looked towards home, then first to see no one covering it, and then back to home as Jake Marisnick crossed home plate.
Craig Kimbrel came into a tie game in the ninth. Javier Báez took a first-pitch curveball to right for a leadoff single. After a strikeout to Spencer Torkelson, Kimbrel attempted a pickoff move to first that went past the reach of Clemens.
Nick Maton has been just about all of the Tigers’ offense this series when he hit a three-run homer off Nola on Monday. Like that Monday, Maton got another hanging curveball he pulled into right field to a base hit to score Báez and give the Tigers the lead.
The game got even crazier in the bottom of the ninth. Harper took a first-pitch curveball off the right field wall for a leadoff double. Trea Turner worked a 3-1 count, hacked at a nasty curveball, and then took a slightly worse 3-2 breaker to draw a walk.
After a JT Realmuto strikeout, Bryson Stott punched a changeup for an infield single, Báez made a diving play to keep the Tigers lead.
Brandon Marsh then hit a sacrifice flyball to left field to tie the game up at 2.
Kody Clemens was a Detroit Tiger last season and was a part of the Gregory Soto trade, just as filler for a Phillies roster that lacked infield depth after trading Maton.
Clemens has had to be more than that this year, his job now after a slew of first-base injuries. His job is simply to hit right-handed pitching.
As the Phillies’ Twitter account put it best (although not in this context), he did the thing.