Wheeler strikes out 14, Phillies still lose 5-3 to the Rays
This morning we talked about Zack Wheeler and the big opportunity for the Phillies during their Memorial Day weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Wheeler delivered, striking out 14 batters in seven innings.
Wheeler became the first Phillies pitcher to have at least 10 strikeouts in three consecutive games since Curt Schilling in June 1998. He is the third Phillies pitcher in franchise history to accomplish the feat (Schilling, Carlton). The 14 strikeouts is a career high for Wheeler, and the most in a game by a Phillies pitcher since Vincent Velasquez struck out 16 against the Padres in April 2016.
The Phillies still lost 5-3.
The Phillies fell behind in the first inning after Austin Meadows hit a two-run home run to give the Rays an early lead. It stayed 2-0 until the fifth inning, when Ronald Torreyes hit a two-run double to tie the game. Roman Quinn rounded third base and was injured but still hobbled over home plate to tie the game 2-2.
After the game, Girardi stated that the injury “didn’t look good” which is bad news for Quinn, who continues to battle injuries throughout his career. For the Phillies who are lacking serious depth, Mickey Moniak is on the Phillies’ 40-man roster, while Adam Haseley continues to work his way into game shape after leaving the team in mid-April for personal reasons.
Ji-Man Choi singled in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the Rays the lead yet again, but the Phillies would strike back after Matt Joyce broke an 0-for-28 slump in the top of the seventh inning with a solo home run to right field.
The Phillies couldn’t close it out. Sam Coonrod and Jose Alvarado were both wild and allowed the Rays to score two runs in the eighth inning to give the Rays a 5-3 win. The loss dropped the 25-27 Phillies to 10-17 on the road. Only the Rangers, Diamondbacks and Rockies have been worse away from home.
The two-game series ends with Sunday’s 1:10pm game. Zach Eflin will be on the mound for the Phillies. No word on who the Rays will send to the mound.
Mandatory Credit: The Philadelphia Phillies