Phillies sweep Brewers in Zack Wheeler's best career start

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Wheeler's career afternoon carries Phils to 4-game sweep originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

With the way Zack Wheeler and Brandon Woodruff were tossing zeroes up on the scoreboard, you had to figure Thursday afternoon’s game between the Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers was going to come down to one big something … one big swing of the bat, one big play, one big mistake, one big hit.

Alec Bohm provided the one big something that the Phillies needed – a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Phillies parlayed that big hit and an absolutely brilliant pitching performance from Zack Wheeler into a 2-0 victory over the Brewers at Citizens Bank Park.

Wheeler went the distance for his second career shutout. He allowed just three hits – a double in the third and two singles in the ninth – walked none and struck out eight.

The win gave the Phillies a four-game sweep of the Brewers. All four of the victories were decided by one or two runs. The Phillies never trailed in the series, which was huge for a lot of reasons, including keeping Devin Williams and Josh Hader, the Brewers’ two late-innings bullpen weapons, out of the game. All four of them.

The Phillies lead the National League East at 17-15. They play the next nine games on the road against Atlanta, Washington and Toronto and that will be a test. The Phillies are 80-123 on the road since the start of 2018.

Wheeler finished the best start of his career in 118 pitches. He needed to be good because Woodruff was also spectacular. The Milwaukee right-hander went 6 2/3 innings and allowed just two hits and two walks while striking out 11.

The Phillies’ first hit of the day was a single by Odubel Herrera in the second inning. After that, they did not have another base runner until Bohm’s home run trot with one out in the seventh. Bohm hit Woodruff’s 100th pitch into the right-field seats. It was a 2-2 fastball, 96.7 mph. The previous pitch was a slider that home plate umpire Quinn Walcott called a strike. Bohm did not like the call, but he quickly settled in and delivered the game’s biggest hit. Bohm had been 0 for his previous 7 before the homer and just 5 for 25 on the homestand.

The Phils padded their lead in the bottom eighth inning. Andrew McCutchen singled with two outs, Brad Miller walked and Rhys Hoskins doubled against reliever Angel Perdomo.

Woodruff entered the game with a 1.80 ERA in six starts. That ranked second in the National League behind Jacob deGrom’s microscopic 0.51. The Phillies had seen this kind of dominance for Woodruff before. In May 2019, he beat the Phillies twice in a two-week span. In those two games, he pitched a total of 14 innings and held the Phillies to just two hits and a run while striking out 15.

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