Phillies

Workhorse Zack Wheeler's season over for Phillies

Phillies

Zack Wheeler's season is over. He could have made one more start on regular rest Sunday in the final game of the season but the Phillies have nothing to gain and will not push it.

Wheeler, a National League Cy Young candidate, leads all of Major League Baseball in innings pitched, batters faced and pitches thrown.

"Discussions with everyone involved in the organization, we think it's best that his season stops," manager Joe Girardi said after the Phillies' win Friday night. "He's thrown a lot of innings and we just feel like he did more than anyone could ask. Next year's really important to us and I don't see any reason to run him out there."

Wheeler finishes 14-10 with a 2.78 ERA in 213⅓ innings. He struck out a league-leading 247 batters and allowed the second-lowest rate of home runs after leading the NL in that category last summer.

The Phillies adjusted their rotation down the stretch to allow for Wheeler to start this past Tuesday in Atlanta in the first of a critical three-game series and potentially again in Game 162. Wheeler did his job as he has all season but the Phillies were swept by the Braves and eliminated.

They won Friday night in Miami to improve to 82-78. They have their first winning season since 2011.

"I think it's important because I think you have to take steps a lot of times," Girardi said. "These guys competed all year long and they never stopped fighting. We went through some really bad stretches and we never stopped fighting. It was gut-wrenching, what we went through in Atlanta. But finishing over .500 is important and we need to build on that."

 

The Phillies were without J.T. Realmuto (shin) and Jean Segura (back) on Friday night. Girardi hopes to have Realmuto on Saturday but it sounds like Segura could be done.

"Jean, I'm still not sure about," Girardi said. "He's still moving around kind of gingerly with his back. I feel pretty good about J.T."

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