Phillies Fans, please add another tally to the “Wasted Zack Wheeler Start” column at this time. You may also add your 11th tally to the “June Schwarbomb” column at your leisure.
Now back to your regularly scheduled content, the Phillies dropped their series opener against the Atlanta Braves 5-3 on Tuesday evening. Zack Wheeler pitched 6.1 innings of three-run ball, settling in nicely after letting up back-to-back solo home runs in the top of the first. Wheeler struck out eight batters on the night while Andrew Bellatti and Brad Hand each allowed one run to score in their respective innings of relief ball.
The Phillies amassed eight hits overall on the night with two daycare members in Alec Bohm and Bryson Stott combining for four of them. Neither would score, however, as all of the daycare attention went to Mickey Moniak, who stranded four runners on base on the night while going 0-for-3 on the night, ending the inning thrice for the Phillies.
Going into Wednesday night’s matchup, the Phillies have reportedly called up Darick Hall from Triple A. Hall, 26, has been on fire as of late in Lehigh Valley, having just slugged his 20th home run of the season.
Hall, a first baseman, will likely serve either as a bench bat, getting the occasional start at first to rest Rhys Hoskins, or could serve as designated hitter if Rob Thomson wants to load the lineup with power following the loss of Bryce Harper.
The Phillies, who have yet to officially announce the move, will need to send a player down to make space for Hall. The likely candidates are either Moniak or Yairo Munoz. Regardless, the Phillies are currently riding with an extra bat at the moment, an issue that will need to be solved before Friday’s scheduled start for the injured Zach Eflin.
Hump Day From the Bump – The Matchup
Ranger Suarez (6-4. 4.23 ERA) vs. Kyle Wright (8-4, 3.18 ERA)
Ranger Suarez returns to the mound for the Phillies following an impressive outing against the San Diego Padres on Thursday. Suarez pitched into the eighth inning, allowing two runs on seven hits on the night, earning his sixth win of the season on a 6-2 decision. The left-hander pitched his worst outing of the year against the Braves earlier this season, taking the loss while allowing five runs across 4.1 innings on May 25.
Suarez will face off against fellow 26-year-old Kyle Wright for the Braves. Wright has struck out 92 batters across 85.0 innings for the Braves on the season, pitching for a 3.18 ERA overall. Wright has struggled in his past two starts, however, allowing nine runs over 11.1 innings against the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants. The Phillies scored three runs against him on May 26, including a solo shot from J.T. Realmuto as the Phillies claimed a 4-1 victory.
Expect the Phillies to get to Wright towards the fifth or sixth inning of the ballgame tonight. The Phillies will likely have to rely on their bullpen to a greater extent tonight given Suarez’s history with the Braves, meaning Mark Appel may be due for his major league debut. Regardless, my money’s on the Phillies to win the game with a similar final score to Tuesday night in 5-3 in favor of the Phillies this time.
For the daily fantasy enthusiasts, the obvious pick on the day is J.T. Realmuto. The Best Catcher in Baseball is 2-for-5 lifetime against Wright with two, count ’em, two home runs. Realmuto comes in at $3,000 on the day on FanDuel, making him the fifth most expensive option at catcher. If you’re looking to save some dough, Bryson Stott is an intriguing option at second base tonight. Sitting at only $2,200, the rookie is inexpensive and has managed three hits and two runs scored over the past two games.
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire