Zack Wheeler Makes Gutsy Start and Phillies Jump on Jacob DeGrom But Lose Again Late

The Phillies have scored first in 36 of 48 games and are a .500 team. Wednesday was another example why. Early runs, gutsy starts … doesn't matter.

Wheeler strong and Phillies jump on deGrom ... and still not enough, again originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Zack Wheeler pitched 7⅓ gutsy, strong, efficient innings and the Phillies chased Jacob deGrom after two innings but still couldn't hold on to win. Another blown lead by the bullpen. Adam Morgan blew the save in the eighth and Hector Neris lost it in the ninth.

The Phillies are 24-24 despite scoring first in 36 of their 48 games. They've jumped out to leads in two-thirds of their games and still don't have a winning record. 

This was a game the Phillies absolutely had to win, an opportunity they had to capitalize on. The back-to-back Cy Young winner is rarely ever off his game and he was Wednesday night before leaving with an injury. Dating back to August 2018, the Mets had lost 10 games in a row when deGrom allowed three or more earned runs and 49 of 60 overall.

Wheeler gave up three runs in his 7⅓ innings and left with the lead. Morgan blew it with two outs in the eighth on an RBI double from right-handed-hitting J.D. Davis after a two-out walk to lefty Michael Conforto. Adam Haseley misplayed the ball badly, jumping at the wall and missing it. Not an easy play but it looked catchable.

The game-winning hit was an Andres Gimenez RBI single off Neris with two outs in the ninth.

The ever-clutch Alec Bohm singled with two outs in the ninth but was stranded as Didi Gregorius struck out to end the game.

Wheeler's return

Pitching with a painful and gruesome fingernail injury, Wheeler did not walk a batter. He struck out only two, but just one of the 22 outs he picked up left the infield. He has a 2.62 ERA in nine starts and has been one of the best pitchers in the NL this season.

Wheeler continued to throw strikes (72% Wednesday) and pump gas despite the ugly fingernail. He had no trouble hitting 99 mph early in the game and his heater averaged 97.3.

Jean the Met-killing machine

Another huge game against the Mets from Jean Segura was wasted. Segura went 4 for 4 with a homer, a double, two singles and a walk. In 104 plate appearances against the Mets as a Phillie, Segura has hit .392 (37-96) with 10 doubles, two triples, six home runs and 19 RBI.

Playoff picture

With 12 games to play, the Phillies still occupy one of the NL's final two wild-card spots. They are 1½ games behind the second-place Marlins, who beat the Red Sox Wednesday.

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