Jean Segura

Wheeler good, offense bad in Phils’ loss

After some early season concerns about Zack Wheeler‘s velocity, the veteran right-hander has shown himself to be completely healthy and ready to put up big numbers once again. Much like his rotation mate, Aaron Nola, Wheeler has gotten no support from the offense. The Phillies and Rangers went to extra innings locked in a scoreless tie and Texas pulled out their second straight win over the Phillies with two runs in the tenth to win 2-1.

10 inningsRHE
Texas270
Philadelphia161

ZACK IS BACK… Zack Wheeler was super. The 31-year old gave the Phillies 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball before being lifted with 78 pitches. Normally, Wheeler would have continued pitching but with a limited spring training, the Phillies are being a little cautious with his pitch counts. Wheeler’s command was near perfect, with just one walk while recording six strikeouts on the night. His velocity was back to its normal mid-to-upper 90s range with good movement on his pitches… Jose Alvarado came on to finish the seventh and threw just one pitch before Nathaniel Lowe lined out to first to end the inning… Corey Knebel authored a scoreless ninth, but Brad Hand struggled with his control and issued two walks, plus gave up a hit. Hand’s effort was further hurt by a Didi Gregorius throwing error as the Rangers scored twice in the top of the 10th.

WP: Bush (1-1, 4.35), LP: Hand (1-1, 2.84), SV: Barlow (3, 2.16)

DADDY CELEBRATES… Nick Castellanos and his wife Jess welcomed a baby Tuesday night, causing the Phillies outfielder to miss the series opener against Texas. He celebrated the new baby by collecting three of the Phillies six hits Wednesday night. Castellanos had a home run overturned when the replay showed that a fan interfered with the ball, turning it into a double… Hoskins also made two dazzling defensive plays at first base, including a diving catch on a liner hit by former Phillie “Bamboo” Brad Miller. The two players acknowledged each other with a smile after the play.

HR: TEX – none; PHIL – none

PHIL-INS… The new dead ball being used by major league baseball cost the Phillies two home runs Wednesday. The ball hit by Castellanos would have been well out in previous seasons, and another hit by Rhys Hoskins that went as far as the warning track, would have also been out… Former Phillies players Matt Moore (1.2 IP, 0 R) and Brad Miller (1-for-4, 2 RBI) both had nice nights to help their new team to a win over their old team… Bryce Harper is still bothered by an ailing right elbow that shows no sign of improvement and there is no timetable for when he may return to playing defensively in right field.

Y’ALL READY FOR THIS?… The Mets come to town for a four-game series, bringing with them the swagger of a team that leads the NL East by 4.5 games over Miami, six over the Phillies and Braves and 8.5 over Washington. Taijuan Walker (0-0) goes against Aaron Nola (1-3) on Thursday with Max Scherzer (4-0) going up against Kyle Gibson (2-1) on Friday. Over the weekend, the Phillies will throw Zach Eflin (1-2) Saturday and Ranger Suarez (2-0) on Sunday. The Mets are undecided about Sunday’s starter, but will counter Eflin by throwing Chris Bassitt (3-2) Saturday.

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