Zack Wheeler for 2021 NL CY Young?(8/9/2021)
The Phillies are fresh off of a sweep against their division foes from the north, the New York Mets, and they are now in first place of the NL East. The team has now won eight games in a row, something the franchise hasn’t achieved since 2011, when they went a record of 102–60 during the regular season.
Multiple factors play into why this ballclub is the hottest in all of baseball, but the most important one has to be the dominance of Zack Wheeler.
Yesterday, the team held a pregame ceremony for the induction of Roy Halladay into the Phillies wall of fame. Different alumni from the great Phillies teams of the past came out to support his enshrinement.
It was a truly remarkable day for the Phillies, not only because they honored one of the best players to ever represent the red pinstripes, but that fact that Wheeler had arguably the greatest start of his career.
Wheeler had his best start of the season, as he recorded eleven strikeouts, only let up two hits and one walk, a complete game, and he became the first Phillies pitcher to retire twenty-two consecutive batters since guess who, Roy Halladay.
This ballclub has experienced so many ups and downs throughout the season, but Wheeler’s pitching has remained a consistent bright spot for the team.
Wheeler for NL CY Young shouldn’t even be up for a debate. He is truly one of the game’s elite at his position.
No other pitcher in baseball has recorded more strikeouts than Wheeler. He is tied for third in quality starts, has the seventh best ERA (Earned Run Average), leads all pitchers in innings pitched and WAR (Wins Above Replacement), tied for seventh in wins, and ninth in WHIP (Walks and Hits).
Wheeler is easily on pace to have the best season of his career, as he is averaging the lowest ERA of his career.
He only needs to record fourteen more strikeouts to surpass his career high, and it’s very likely that he will surpass his career high in innings pitched with a chunk of the season still remaining.
His WAR has been the highest that it’s ever been, and his WHIP has been the lowest that it’s been throughout his career.
With Nola not having quite the stellar season that we were all expecting out of him, and Eflin currently out with a knee injury with no return in sight, Wheeler has been forced to carry the load of the pitching staff, and he has done a remarkable job.
I said the same thing on my latest blog about Bryce Harper, if Wheeler continues to dominate the rest of the way, then expect the franchise’s lengthy ten year playoff drought to be finally put to rest, but if his performance starts to decline, then the Phillies are in deep trouble.