Wheeler strong and Phillies jump on deGrom ... and still not enough, again


Zack Wheeler pitched 7⅓ gutsy, strong, efficient innings and the Phillies chased Jacob deGrom after two innings but still couldn't hold on to win. Another blown lead by the bullpen. Adam Morgan blew the save in the eighth and Hector Neris lost it in the ninth.

The Phillies are 24-24 despite scoring first in 36 of their 48 games. They led 4-0 in this one. They've jumped out to a lead in two-thirds of their games and still don't have a winning record. 

This was a game the Phillies absolutely had to win, an opportunity they had to capitalize on. The back-to-back Cy Young winner is rarely ever off his game and he was Wednesday night, giving up three runs before leaving with a hamstring injury. Dating back to August 2018, the Mets had lost 10 games in a row when deGrom allowed three or more earned runs and 49 of 60 overall.

Wheeler gave up three in his 7⅓ innings but still left with the lead. It was a tricky spot for manager Joe Girardi, who probably did not want to extend Wheeler too far beyond his 95 pitches given the finger issue.

Morgan blew it in the eighth on an RBI double from right-handed-hitting J.D. Davis after a two-out walk to lefty Michael Conforto. Adam Haseley misplayed the ball badly in right field, jumping at the wall and missing it. Not an easy play but it looked catchable. (Bryce Harper was the DH.)

The ever-clutch Alec Bohm singled with two outs in the ninth to bring the winning run to the plate but was stranded as Didi Gregorius struck out to end the game.


Wheeler's return

Pitching with a painful and gruesome fingernail injury, Wheeler did not walk a batter. He struck out only two, but just one of the 22 outs he picked up left the infield. He has a 2.62 ERA in nine starts and has been one of the best pitchers in the NL this season.

Wheeler continued to throw strikes (72% Wednesday) and pump gas despite the ugly fingernail. He had no trouble hitting 99 mph early in the game and his heater averaged 97.3.

Jean the Met-killing machine

Another huge game against the Mets from Jean Segura was wasted. Segura went 4 for 4 with a homer, a double and two singles.

In 104 plate appearances against the Mets as a Phillie, Segura has hit .392 with 10 doubles, two triples, six home runs and 19 RBI.

Playoff picture

With 12 games to play, the Phillies still occupy the 7-seed.

In the NL East, they are 1½ games behind the second-place Marlins, who beat the Red Sox Wednesday.