Wheeler Struggles, Bats Are Quiet Again When Phillies Loses DH Game 1 to Mets originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Phillies’ inability to consistently score runs continued to be a major problem as they suffered yet another loss to the New York Mets in the first game of a double round on Saturday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.
Zack Wheeler couldn’t hold off the Mets for the second time in less than a week and the Phillies were left with an 8-2 loss.
It was the Phillies’ third straight loss and sixth in their last nine games as they try to hold on to the NL’s second wild card berth with San Diego and Milwaukee hot on their heels. Four of the six losses in this slippage were against the Mets, who did a Phillies job in 2022.
The Phils are 4-13 against the Mets this season, heading into the second game of the double on Saturday night. Bailey Falter is scheduled to start against David Peterson in a left-handed match.
Both teams will conclude their season on Sunday and the Phillies will be grateful for that. They are 61-41 against teams other than the Mets.
Wheeler lost two straight games to the Mets, giving up 10 runs in 11 1/3 innings. The offense didn’t score a run while he was in the game in any of those matches.
Over the past nine games, the Phillies have averaged just 2.3 runs. They have run out of homers in nine of their last 10 games.
The Phils scored their first run Saturday afternoon on a pair of hits and a sacrificial fly in the sixth inning. At that time, the Mets had a 4-0 lead. The Phils didn’t score again until the Mets defense gave them a run at the bottom of the ninth.
The Mets had a 5-0 lead by the time the Phils scored their only runs in a 7-2 loss on Friday night.
Prior to Saturday, Wheeler had a 2.17 ERA in 15 matches this season at night. He had an ERA of 4.82 in seven daytime games. Manager Rob Thomson gave Wheeler the choice of which double-round game he wanted to start and the pitcher chose to work with the sun shining.
Wheeler struggled with command issues throughout his 5 1/3 innings. He equaled the season record with four walks and his 58/48 hit-to-ball ratio was not good.
Wheeler made pitches when he needed to and got out of trouble a few times in the first four innings. He was injured by the lower half of the Mets’ batting order in the fifth. Jeff McNeil scored to the right, Tyler Naquin walked on four pitches and both scored in a smooth line to the right of #9 hitter Michael Perez.
The walk to Naquin in the fifth was a killer as he had 0 in the previous 17 and had eliminated six times in a row before the walk. Perez hit a 1-1 cutter. He had 0 for 19 before the hit.
Wheeler walked two more hitters in the sixth and allowed a triple RBI for Francisco Lindo and a single RBI for McNeil.
Mets rallies in the fifth and sixth innings turned Citizens Bank Park into Citi Field in Delaware, as Turnpike fans took over Phillies park. The Mets fans got louder and louder as the day went on. His team bounced back for another three runs at the top of the ninth inning and the Phillies were forced to use position player Darick Hall to take the final off the board.
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