The Wheels are Rolling for Phillies’ Ace Zack Wheeler

Philadelphia Phillies Zack Wheeler
TAMPA, FL – MARCH 07: Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) delivers a pitch during the MLB Spring Training game between the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees on March 7, 2021 at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, FL. (Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire)

Zack Wheeler was downright dominant in 2021. Wheeler finished second in National League Cy Young voting, and many can argue that he was more deserving of the award.

Wheeler pitched the most innings in baseball, and with that, he was going to need some time to rest this off-season. After some shoulder soreness that delayed his Spring and some shaky starts to begin 2022, Zack Wheeler looks to be back to form.

Becoming an Ace

Before the 2020 season began, the Philadelphia Phillies inked Wheeler to a five-year, 118 million dollar contract to join the club. Wheels had a solid season in 2020, but it was just a small sample size of what was to come.

With a somewhat normal start to the baseball season in 2021, Zack settled in like normal, and he took off from there. The right-hander went 14-10 with a 2.78 earned run average for the Phillies. He set career highs in innings pitched, strikeouts, complete games, and shutouts. His 213.1 innings pitched led all of Major League Baseball and broke the trend where today’s starting pitchers hardly ever eclipse 200 innings.

Zack would finish runner up in the Cy Young voting to Brewers’ ace Corbin Burnes, but failing a little short on an award is hardly a blemish on his standout season from Wheeler. His best outing of 2021 was perhaps against his former team, the New York Mets, as he threw a complete-game shutout on the day, the Phillies retired Roy Halladay’s #34 forever.

Wheeler’s Dominant Start Against Rockies

It took Zack Wheeler a couple of starts to find his groove again. After starting hot and tailing off late in his outing against the Brewers, all signs pointed to Wheeler taking a step forward against the Colorado Rockies. Very early in his start, you could tell Zack was feeling like himself.

Wheeler’s velocity flashed, and he was hitting 96 mph with ease. The Rockies’ offense was unable to catch up, setting the Phillies up for early success. Once the club gave Zack Wheeler the lead, he never looked back. Wheeler shut down the powerful Colorado lineup and cruised through his six innings of work.

He finished with a final stat line of 6 innings, one hit, 0 runs, and seven strikeouts in his first win of the season. Zack’s outing was very encouraging, and the Phillies need him to build off Thursday’s game going forward.

Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire