Phillies lose despite Zack Wheeler outlasting Jacob deGrom

Phillies RHP Zack Wheeler pitched well in his return to the mound opposite Jacob deGrom

Philadelphia Phillies right-handed starter Zack Wheeler entered Wednesday evening’s matchup — opposite his former team in the New York Mets and perennial Cy Young Award favorite Jacob DeGrom — coming off of a freak fingernail injury.

Little did Wheeler know prior to the game, that it would result in the Mets ace going down with an injury of his own. DeGrom was pulled after just two innings, allowing three runs on four hits and one walk, while striking out just one batter. All three of his earned runs were yielded in the second inning via an Andrew Knapp RBI double, Adam Haseley sacrifice fly RBI, and Andrew McCutchen fielder’s choice groundout.

DeGrom could be seen conversing in the dugout with the Mets trainer following the frame and did not return to the mound — exiting due to what was later announced as a right hamstring spasm. It is not yet known whether deGrom will be able to make his next start.

Meanwhile, the Phillies hard-throwing pitcher in Wheeler tossed a season-high 7 1/3 strong innings, allowing seven hits, three runs (including a two-run home run), and no walks in his first start since September 7.

Wheeler also struck out two batters, but his effort was not enough in the eventual 5-4 loss; he finishes the 2020 season against his former team going 1-0 with a 3.54 ERA and 1.082 WHIP ratio through three starts. Spanning 20 1/3 combined innings, Wheeler yielded 21 hits, 8 runs (all earned), one walk, and one home run, while striking out 13 batters.

Overall this season through nine starts, Wheeler is 4-0 with a 2.62 ERA. Wheeler tossed seven innings or more in four of those outings and was in line to earn his fifth win, however, the Mets tied the game in the eighth with a J.D. Davis RBI double opposite Adam Morgan and ended up scoring the winning run in the ninth, helped by Hector Neris‘ balk.

Had the Phillies bullpen not faltered, Wednesday evening’s game would have been just deGrom’s second career loss against the Phillies through 17 starts, having gone 8-1 with a 2.16 ERA entering the contest.

Just 12 games remain this season; and, with the San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Reds looming, there is no guarantee the Phillies even make the postseason via a Wild Card spot.