Why the Phillies will win the World Series on Zack Wheeler's back
Why the Phillies will win the World Series on Zack Wheele...
The Philadelphia Phillies are back in the World Series for the first time since 2009. And while Bryce Harper and JT Realmuto have done their part to get them back to the Fall Classic, the Phillies will ultimately win the World Series on Zack Wheeler's back.
The 32-year-old pitcher had another fine season in the 2022 season as he went 12-7 with a 2.82 ERA. And while he was not quite as dominant as last year, when he finished second in NL Cy Young voting, he was still a significant factor in the Phillies making it back to the playoffs after a decade-long absence.
And once they got to the playoffs, Zack Wheeler really got to work and put the team on his back. He was terrific in Game 1 of the NL Wild Card series against the St. Louis Cardinals, which the Phils swept 2-0.
He lost his lone start in the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves, but he bounced back with two strong outings against the San Diego Padres in the NLCS as he went a combined 13 innings with just two earned runs on four hits with 16 strikeouts.
Zack Wheeler posted a 0.51 WHIP in his first four postseason starts. It was the lowest WHIP in any four-start span in postseason history.
Unfortunately, Zack Wheeler picked the wrong time to regress to the mean as he struggled in his first World Series start in Game 2. He started the game by allowing three straight extra-base hits and gave up five runs (four earned) in five innings as the Phils lost 5-2. His fastball velocity was down considerably, which could be a sign of arm fatigue.
Zack Wheeler will now have to wait until Game 6 to get his next start, but you know he’s going to come out like a man on a mission. With the postponement of Game 3, the Phillies ace will get six days between starts, more time to rest up and rebound.
He has a 1.67 ERA in five starts with six days of rest or more this season, and after his Game 2 disappointment, he will have extra motivation to deliver another dominant performance.
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