PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Zack Wheeler struck out eight over six sharp innings, Bryson Stott hit a two-run homer and the Philadelphia Phillies won their ninth straight game, matching their longest streak in 11 years with a 4-0 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday.
The Phillies have won nine straight for the first time July 29-Aug. 6, 2011, also the last season they reached the playoffs.
Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson improved to 8-0 since he took over for the fired Joe Girardi. He’s the first manager to win his first eight games since Joe Morgan did it for the Red Sox in 1988. He’s the first Phillies manager to start his career 8-0 since Pat Moran did the same in 1915.
Hey, the Phillies won the pennant in 1915.
A mere 107 years later, the Phillies (30-29) are happy for now they could climb over .500 for the first time since they were 3-2 on April 12.
The Phillies will try on Sunday for 10 straight wins for the first time since 1984.
With all these streaks in play, it’s no wonder the Phillie Phanatic stripped off his jersey and crashed the field in nothing more than his sneakers to the delight of the crowd.
Wheeler (5-3) won his first start since a brief stop on the paternity list following the birth of his second child, and first daughter. Wheeler, the 2021 NL Cy Young Award runner-up, lost his first three starts of the season and has been sensational since the end of April. He was 4-0 with 1.61 ERA and 56 strikeouts over his last seven starts to help inch the Phillies toward wild-card contention.
Against Arizona, Wheeler tossed two-hit ball, walked none and lowered his ERA to 2.84 (5.79 through his first four starts) before yielding to the bullpen.
Andrew Bellatti relieved a roughed-up Jeurys Familla with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh and…