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Phillies heed Wheeler’s words, beat one of the ‘better teams’ to earn split with Mets

Phillies heed Wheeler’s words, beat one of the 'better teams' to earn split with Mets

Phils heed Wheeler’s words, beat one of the ‘better teams’ to earn split with Mets originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Zack Wheeler stood outside the Phillies’ clubhouse late Saturday afternoon and laid it on the line.

“We need to win some ballgames against some of these better teams,” he said. “We’ve got to swing it a little better. We’ve got to pitch better.”

The right-hander had just absorbed his second loss in less than a week to the New York Mets, and now those same Mets, leaders of the National League East and consistent tormentors of these 2022 Phillies, were about to go for the sweep in a doubleheader.

GAME 1: Zack Wheeler struggles, bats quiet again as Phillies lose

It was Bailey Falter’s job to do what neither Wheeler nor Aaron Nola could do in nine combined outings this season. It was his job to help the Phillies beat the Mets.

The 25-year-old lefty did just that.

Added to the roster as the extra man for Saturday’s double dip, Falter enjoyed the best start of his young big-league career. He pitched six innings of one-run ball to help the Phillies win, 4-1, and salvage a split with the Mets in front of a big and loud crowd of 39,374 at Citizens Bank Park.

“He pitched really well,” manager Rob Thomson said. “It was exactly what we needed. Anything less, we might have been in trouble.”

Yes, it was imperative that Falter give his club some innings because the bullpen was short-handed for the nightcap. The Phils used three relievers in the opener and closer Seranthony Dominguez was not available in either game due to triceps tightness.

With the win, the Phillies (66-54) snapped a three-game losing streak.

The victory enabled the Phillies to stay at least a game up on San Diego for the second wild-card spot in the National League. It was just the Phillies’ fifth win in 18 games against the Mets this season.

The two teams will close out their season series Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies will be happy to see the Mets’ team bus pull out of town. They’ll be extra happy if they can pull off a win as they see the last of the troublesome Mets this regular season.

The Phils are 5-13 against the Mets and 61-41 against everyone else.

The rest of this homestand includes a parade of “everyone elses”, starting with the Cincinnati Reds, who come to town to begin a four-game series on Monday night. After that, the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates come in for three before the Phillies play three at…

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