Kyle Gibson, Zack Wheeler among impressive early-season list

Phillies RHP Kyle Gibson is among just 7 since 1901 to accomplish a notable feat.

So far, so good for the Philadelphia Phillies — whose offense entering Sunday slashed a combined .290/.384/.581, and whose pitching staff posted a combined 2.50 ERA and 23-1 strikeouts-to-walk ratio through the first two games (victories) of the season.

Starting pitcher Kyle Gibson greatly contributed to the latter stats, as he surrendered only two hits while striking out 10 batters in seven scoreless innings on Saturday. It was just the fourth time that the 10-year veteran struck out 10 or more batters in a start, a feat he hadn’t achieved since June 26 of last season. The right-hander punched out a career-best 11 batters in 2019, while with the Minnesota Twins.

While Gibson’s outing surely passed the eye test, it was that much more impressive on paper. As NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Corey Seidman notes, the Indiana native joined Zack Wheeler last season (April 3, 2021) as the only Phillies in the past quarter-century to go at least seven scoreless innings with 10-plus strikeouts in their season debut.

And, according to Paul Boye, the pair of right-handers are among a list of just seven pitchers since 1901 — including one other former Phillie — with at least seven innings, 10 strikeouts, and no runs allowed in a team’s first two games.

The other pitchers to accomplish this feat include Bob Gibson (1967, STL); Chris Short (1968, PHI); Eric Show (1985, SDP); Jered Weaver (2012, LAA); Yu Darvish (2013, TEX); and Carlos Martinez (2017, STL).

Last July, the Phillies acquired Gibson from the Texas Rangers — along with reliever Ian Kennedy and prospect Hans Crouse — in exchange for Spencer Howard and two other prospects. While Kennedy is no longer with the team after posting a 4.13 in 23 appearances to finish last season, it is nice to see Gibson off to a strong start in his first full season in red pinstripes.