The Phillies bounced back from Thursday’s loss to reclaim sole possession of second place in the NL East Friday night in Atlanta.
The 5-1 win comes despite being outhit 9-8 in the game by the Braves, mostly thanks to a brilliant start from Zack Wheeler (8-5).
Wheeler threw seven innings, struck out eight and only allowed one run despite the seven hits along the way.
While he looked strong all night, Wheeler was especially dominant early in the game. Seven of his eight strikeouts came in the first four innings.
The Braves threatened a few times in the game, but Wheeler was able to work himself out of any trouble. They had men on second and third with two outs in the first inning and loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth but came away empty both times.
In all, Atlanta left 10 men on base in the game and were only 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
Phillies Spread Offense
The Phillies bats weren’t much better on paper. They left seven on base and were 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
That one hit was a two-run double from Jean Segura though which gave the Phillies a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning.
Segura has killed the Braves this season, now with 21 hits and 12 RBIs. Friday night, he only had one, but it was a sharp groundball the bounced off of third base and all the way down to the left-field corner. And it came on a great pitch, low and out of the zone with two strikes, inches from the dirt, but Segura went down and got it.
J.T. Realmuto put the Phillies on the board in the first inning when he took a fastball down from Max Fried (7-6) on a 2-0 count and went deep. It was his third off of Fried, and the first extra-base hit Fried had allowed in his last eight innings.
All eight starting position players for the Phillies reached base safely, seven with hits.
The only man in the Philadelphia lineup with multiple hits was Bryce Harper. He went 2-for-3 on the night with three stolen bases, including one of home on a double steal following a pickoff attempt of Rhys Hoskins at first.
We Have Contact, Always
Even with the loss, the Braves saw one of the most impressive streaks seen in a while extended.
Freddie Freeman has now gone 33 consecutive plate appearances without a swing and a miss. The last time Freeman offered at a pitch and didn’t make contact was July 11 against Miami.
On Friday, Freeman was 2-for-3 and drove in the lone run for Atlanta. He’s been locked in all July, now batting .417 for the month with 11 RBIs.
After they split the first two games, the four-game series continues Saturday. Drew Smyly (7-3) is scheduled to start for Atlanta against Vince Velasquez (3-4). The first pitch is at 6:05 pm EST.