Philadelphia Phillies: Zack Wheeler Needs Strong Outing vs. Atlanta
With Game 2 of the Philadelphia Phillies 2021 campaign set for this afternoon versus Atlanta, Zack Wheeler needs to show up.
The Phillies got a much-needed win on Opening Day at Citizen’s Bank Park as Jean Segura had the game-winning hit.
The Braves will counter Wheeler by sending Charlie Morton to the mound. The veteran righty agreed to a one-year deal over the offseason to return to Atlanta.
The Braves and Phils both showcased their bullpens in Game 1 and both looked pretty good.
But, long-term I believe the Phillies will have the better bullpen.
Let’s look at why Zack Wheeler needs to have a big day today.
More of Morton
The division-rival Braves are sending Charlie Morton to the bump.
During his days in Tampa Bay and Houston, Morton was a stud and pitched well in big moments.
If he gets run support, that could spell doom for the Phils because Morton can shut down a lineup.
Wheeler has the ability to slow down the Braves lineup, but it’s important for him to make sure he sets the tempo early.
Pick Up Where Nola Left Off
Wheeler needs to show that Philly has another dominant 1-2 punch at the top of their rotation.
We know that if the Phils make the playoffs this year, they could be a tough out. I mean with Wheeler, Nola, and Eflin, lineups will have to think how to go about beating those arms.
We often hear about how good the pitchers are for the New York Mets and Washington Nationals, but Philly can be just as productive on the bump.
The Phillies lineup was kept in check for the most part offensively even though Max Fried had a rough go and developed a high pitch count for Atlanta.
If the Phils’ lineup has a hard time scoring runs in Game 2, Wheeler and the bullpen needs to lock the door on the Braves.
It’s crucial for Wheeler to keep runners off base and continue to show his powerful arm.
Wheels can mix his pitches and locate really well and I expect him to play well today.
With it only being the second game of the 2021 season, it’s still important for the Phillies to put the NL East on notice. The Phils are in their second season with Joe Girardi as their skipper, so expectations are high and they can certainly win the division if all goes right.
Do you expect Zack Wheeler and the Phillies to beat the Braves today? Leave a comment below.