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The Phillies pitching staff combined for a historic game in Saturday’s victory over the Braves.
The Philadelphia Phillies are off to a great start in 2021. This is good news for fans who are desperate to see a winner after so many years of mediocrity.
The season began with a tight 3-2 win over the Atlanta Braves. Then came Saturday’s dominant performance in a 4-0 win. Zack Wheeler got the start and proceeded to mow down 10 batters in seven scoreless innings.
Wheeler only allowed one hit and the two pitchers who came in after him were perfect in their combined two innings of work. The final line was 14 strikeouts, one hit, zero walks, and a shutout. This type of game is rarely seen, and in fact had not been accomplished since 2015.
Phillies make history Saturday with a combined one-hitter
Getting a shutout with at least 14 strikeouts and zero walks usually means a perfect game took place. One lone hit by Travis d’Arnaud prevented that from happening Saturday.
Max Scherzer was the last pitcher to accomplish this rare feat when he had 17 strikeouts, zero walks, and only one error from his team that turned a perfect game into a no-hitter. That just so happened to be his second no-hitter of the season.
Aaron Nola got the start for the Phillies on Opening Day and took home a no-decision in the win. Wheeler following it up with an even better performance is great for the organization considering he is the highest-paid pitcher on the roster. He is in the second year of a five-year, $118 million deal and needs to live up to the money if the team is going to get back into the postseason.
Fans should remain patient and not overreact about a 2-0 start. But this is still a huge positive sign for a Phillies team that spends like a top contender in the league. Their pitching staff may be what carries the team back into October in 2021.