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Wheeler silences the Braves in 4-0 loss to the Phillies

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Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Wheeler had his fastball working early, pumping it around 99 MPH. He struck out Acuna before getting Ozzie Albies to fly out and Freddie Freeman to hit a chopper back to the mound for out number three. Wheeler struck out Marcell Ozuna on five pitches to lead off the second, but Travis d’Arnaud followed this up by smoking a line drive up the middle for the first Atlanta hit of the game. Unfortunately for Atlanta, Wheeler retired Swanson and Riley to end the inning with the damage done, although Riley put together a solid battle. Pache, Morton, and Acuna went down in order in the top of the third, although Pache did hit a hard fly ball fairly deep, with a .470 xBA. Ozzie, Freddie, and Marcell went down pretty quickly, although Ozzie was a bit unlucky to have not recorded a line drive single. Wheeler breezed his way through d’Arnaud, Swanson, and Riley, striking out the side in the fifth. Wheeler continued to dominate as the Braves were unable to get anything going in the sixth, with Ender Inciarte coming in for Morton as the first pinch hitter.

Atlanta gave Wheeler no more trouble in the seventh than they gave him in any other inning after a long inning from the Braves bullpen. Albies grounded out sharply before Freeman and Ozuna struck out. That would be the last inning for Wheeler, as he gave way to Archie Bradley. Travis d’Arnaud struck out as Bradley’s first batter, as Dansby followed Travis with a first pitch fly out to right field, before Austin Riley did the same.

The Braves went down with a whimper in the ninth, as Neris struck out Pache, Sandoval, and Acuna in order. That made it the last 23 Braves batters of the game that were retired in a row.

Charlie Morton got two quick groundouts from McCutchen and Hoskins before allowing a rope down the first base line past a diving Freddie Freeman to Bryce Harper. Fortunately for Morton and the Braves, Ronald Acuna and his bazooka arm resides in right field, so he was able to make a nice play to cut the ball off and threw out Harper trying to stretch the hit to a double. It was an exciting end to the home half of the inning.

JT Realmuto was able to slap a grounder to right field to lead of the home second, but Charlie Morton was able to get a quick ground ball double-play from Alec Bohm to clear the bases. Didi Gregorious got a bloop single to center with two outs, but Morton put together a nasty sequence to strike out the next batter, Segura. Roman Quinn handed the Braves an out by bunting to lead off the bottom of the third, bringing Zach Wheeler to the plate, who Charlie struck out easily. Morton made Andrew McCutchen look silly in a four pitch strikeout to end the inning with ease. The veteran continued to cruise in the fourth, getting an infield pop fly from Hoskins and a groundout from Harper, aided by a nice diving stop from Albies. Realmuto grounded out to end a 1-2-3 inning.

Morton blinked first in the fifth inning after striking out the first two batters. Jean Segura hit a bloop single and Morton hit Roman Quinn to leave runners on first and second. Zach Wheeler then reached a ball well up and outside to slap a single to right-center, scoring Segura. Morton continued to struggle, walking Andrew McCutchen to load the bases before allowing a broken bat double (because of course) to Rhys Hoskins. The Braves intentionally walked Bryce Harper to get the righty/righty matchup with Realmuto, who mercifully grounded out to Austin Riley at third on a full count. Soft contact killed Morton in the fifth, with the hits all coming in at under 86 MPH exit velocity. That would end Morton’s night with a line of 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 5 SO, although he looked a lot better than the line indicates, with a 3.38 FIP to his 5.40 ERA.

Sean Newcomb was the first pitcher out of the pen for the Braves and walked his first batter, Alec Bohm on a 10 pitch at bat before hitting Didi Gregorius to give the Phillies two on with no outs. Jean Segura helped Sean out by flailing at two balls in the dirt to strike out. Newcomb looked like he might get out of the inning after striking out Quinn to bring up Wheeler, but Wheeler came through for Philadelphia again, this time with an RBI double down the third base line. This was the end of the #SeanNewcombExperience for the evening, as Snitker brought in Luke Jackson to hopefully put out the fire. Jackson took danger out for a dinner date, walking McCutchen to load the bases and going to a full count with Hoskins, but struck the Phillies first baseman out on a slider at the top of the zone (whatever works, right?).

Huascar Ynoa came into the game for the bottom of the seventh and was pumping high 90s fastballs. Bryce Harper hit a deep fly ball to center field that was caught by Cristian Pache before Realmuto hit a double down the third base line. Alec Bohm grounded out for the second out and Gregorius hit a hard ground ball to Ozzie Albies for the third out. Josh Tomlin came in for the eighth inning and struck out Segura, who had a rough evening at the plate. Roman Quinn struck out before the pinch-hitting Brad Miller popped out to Pache in center.

Not a great game for the Bravos, but we’ll be back to cover the game tomorrow at 1:05 PM as Ian Anderson takes the mound.