Phillies ace Zack Wheeler in impressive company but for all the wrong reasons

What unfortunate record has Wheeler suddenly found himself a part of?
Philadelphia Phillies ace Zack Wheeler in impressive company but for the wrong reasons
Philadelphia Phillies ace Zack Wheeler in impressive company but for the wrong reasons / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
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After signing a big three-year, $126 million extension with the Philadelphia Phillies this past offseason, Zack Wheeler has certainly been doing his part so far in 2024, providing full value for the deal. Following an impressive spring training in which he posted a stellar 1.26 ERA and 0.63 WHIP, giving up just two earned runs with 14 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings pitched, he has continued that dominance into the regular season for the Phillies.

In four games to date, Wheeler has produced quality starts in three of those games, posting a solid 3.00 ERA and 1.04 WHIP with 30 strikeouts in 24 innings. Call it bad luck or just bad timing, he has come out of it with a surprising 0-3 losing record with one no-decision. The consistent lack of run support from the Phillies' bats and a blown lead by the bullpen on Opening Day have been the main culprits in keeping Wheeler from earning his first win.

Zack Wheeler in impressive company but for the wrong reasons

To add insult to injury, Wheeler’s unorthodox results have put him into the record books for the wrong reason.

According to Paul Casella of MLB.com, Wheeler has joined the likes of Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan and Pedro Martinez, along with Jacob DeGrom and Dylan Bundy, as the only pitchers to go winless in their first four starts of a season while posting an ERA of 3.00 or lower with 30 or more strikeouts.

At least he's among some elite company.

However, Wheeler has the unfortunate distinction of becoming the sole record holder for being the only pitcher of the group to go 0-3 in the process. It's probably not a record he particularly wants to be a part of, especially with his main focus being helping the Phillies win.  

Nevertheless, given Wheeler’s pedigree and track record, the wins will eventually start to pile up for the former All-Star and NL Cy Young finalist. He will get a glorious opportunity to finally end his winless streak on Saturday when the struggling Chicago White Sox come to town for a three-game set.

Hopefully, it will be the start of something great for Wheeler, as the Phillies are counting on him to help lead the team to success in 2024.

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