After being swept by the Baltimore Orioles, the Philadelphia Phillies returned the favor over the weekend, taking all three at Citizens Bank Park against the New York Mets.
Such a sweep was much-needed for a Phillies side that was already facing the prospect of falling behind the pace in the NL East. They’re just two games behind the surprising Miami Marlins, who overcame their own coronavirus quarantine to exceed expectations with an unproven roster.
The disposal of the Mets was made that much sweeter on Sunday when Zack Wheeler — who spent seven years in Queens — dominated his former club with seven innings of two-run ball.
Early returns on his five-year, $118 million contract, which many deemed as an overpayment, are promising so far. He’s 3-0 in four starts with a 2.81 ERA and 1.208 WHIP.
Next up for the Phillies is a struggling Boston Red Sox side that was taken care of in its four-game series against the mighty New York Yankees.
The trip to Fenway should provide golden opportunities for the Phillies offense to keep building on its recent offensive surge in which they scored six runs in each of their last three games.
They’ll open the series against Sox starter Zack Godley, who has struggled this season with an 8.16 ERA over three starts (four appearances), as Boston’s starting rotation remains in shambles.
He’s had historical success against the Phillies, though, going 1-0 with a 1.53 ERA in four career appearances.
The Phillies will rebut with Zach Eflin, who has provided cause for cautious optimism.
While he’s struggled to reward the Phillies’ confidence in keeping him in the starting rotation in years past, Eflin has allowed four runs in 10 innings of work this season, including 15 strikeouts to just two walks.
Behind an improving sinker that’s rounded out his arsenal, the 26-year-old righty is facing a Red Sox club whose offense was ranked 21st in the majors prior to their series finale against the Yankees, averaging 4.32 runs per game.