A near no-no for Zack Wheeler and Nick Castellanos’ best night as Phils pound Sox – NBC Sports Philadelphia

Rob Thomson probably breathed a sigh of relief when Korey Lee sent a single past Bryce Harper to right field in the eighth inning Saturday night.

His ace, Zack Wheeler, was at 105 pitches with a nine-run lead and eight outs remaining in a no-hit bid. It’s a difficult situation for a manager who must keep the long game in mind, especially with a pitcher as crucial to the Phillies’ ultimate goal as Wheeler.

This didn’t look like a fair fight on paper — one of the two or three best starters in baseball against the worst team in both leagues — and, boy, did it.

Wheeler’s night started with a pesky 10-pitch walk from Nicky Lopez, but he gave up the next 13 without a ball leaving the infield. His only other base runner until the eighth inning was a batter hit with one out in the fifth. He opened the eighth on 101 pitches, so he would have needed back-to-back single-digit innings, which is never likely.

Coincidentally, it was the same point in the game where Wheeler lost a no-hitter last June 8 against the Tigers, when he gave up a one-out single in the eighth.

The Phillies scored three runs in the second and two each in the fifth, sixth and seventh in a 9-5 victory. Chicago struck and scored all five of their runs against Ricardo Pinto in the ninth. The Phils didn’t start the inning figuring they’d need to go to Jose Alvarado, but did so for the final out.

Thomson faced some tough decisions this week due to the quality of his starting pitchers. Ranger Suarez pitched a shutout Tuesday and would have been out if he had put one more man on base. Spencer Turnbull didn’t have a hit until the seventh inning Friday.

All these locations add up. Michael Lorenzen threw 124 in his no-hitter last August, then had an 8.01 ERA for the rest of the season. Johan Santana was never the same after his 134-pitch no-no. It doesn’t always work out that way, but there’s no need to take the risk with a pitcher who has carried as heavy a workload as anyone over the last five years.

The Phillies rotation has been incredibly good this season and at its best this week. Here are their last five starts:

· Zack Wheeler: 7⅓ IP, 1 H, 0 R, 8 K

· Spencer Turnbull: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R

· Cristopher Sanchez: 6 IP, 0 ER, 10 K

· Ranger Suarez: 9 IP, 0 R, 8 K

· Aaron Nola: 7⅓ IP, 1 R, 9 K

Quite: 36⅔ IP, 18 H, 1 ER, 7 BB, 41 K

After sweeping the National League-worst Rockies, the Phillies dominated the American League-worst White Sox 16-5 in back-to-back victories. The Phils are 13-8 after winning five straight games and eight of 10. You can only play the team in front of you that night and they’ve done an admirable job this week of capitalizing on their team’s woes. opponents.

This White Sox team isn’t just bad, it’s a special kind of terrible. They never spend money to begin with, but they have cut almost every useful veteran from their roster over the last two years without infusing much young talent. Without the injured Luis Robert Jr., they have a player who could be in the lineup every day for a good team in Eloy Jimenez, whose own career has been marred by injuries.

But that’s not the Phillies’ problem. You only have so many opportunities against the worst teams in baseball and they did what they were supposed to do: take an early lead and throttle clubs destined for 100+ losses.

Wheeler had received just five points of support total in his first four starts and that nearly tripled on Saturday.

Brandon Marsh opened the scoring when he caught a changeup from former Braves right-hander Mike Soroka and smashed it over the wall in right center for a two-run homer.

Nick Castellanos followed with a triple from the top of the right wall, his first extra base hit of the season in his 79th plate appearance. He scored on a two-out, two-hit single to left by Johan Rojas.

Castellanos had his best night of the season after going hitless in his last 16 at-bats. He had the opposite field triple, an opposite field single, another well hit single up the middle to drive in two runs and a walk. He would have taken any type of three-hit night, but it’s often a promising sign when he hits the ball with authority the other way.

Rojas has been productive at the plate lately, going 11-for-27 (.385) over the last nine games with two doubles, two walks and four stolen bases. He is hitting .245 with a .315 on-base percentage. If he finishes the season with those numbers, it’s a win for the Phillies with his elite defense and ability to steal a base virtually every time he reaches for it. He might be the fastest player on a team that includes Trea Turner.

Turner (.353 BA) stayed hot with two hits, including a two-run double.

The Phillies go for the sweep Sunday afternoon with Nola on the mound.

News Source :
Gn sports

Back to top button