Zack Wheeler
The Phillies began their defense of the National League pennant on a positive note Tuesday, knocking off the Marlins, 4-1, in Game 1 of the National League Wild Card Series at Citizens Bank Park. 

Zack Wheeler pieced together a dominant performance, scattering five hits over 6 2/3 innings while surrendering one run. He didn't issue a walk and whiffed eight. 

Including Tuesday's performance, Wheeler is carrying a 2.55 ERA and a 0.73 WHIP over seven career postseason starts.

"I just feel like I'm doing my job, honestly," Wheeler said. "That's why I came here, and that's why the Phillies signed me was to pitch like I am. So maybe some people didn't expect it or were scared of it at first because of my history, but I knew what I was capable of. 

"It's been fun. It's been a fun ride. Making it to the postseason, there's nothing like it. I just try to do the exact same thing, but I think my adrenaline and everything comes up, and it just plays a tiny bit more, and sometimes that helps you."

About those five hits Wheeler surrendered, well two were infield singles while another two came on difficult plays in the infield. He was outstanding.

"Wheels was fantastic all night," said Phillies manager Rob Thomson. "This guy's been consistent all year. He's been really good. I thought tonight his stuff was as good or better than any other start all year."

The Phillies jumped on Marlins' starter Jesus Luzardo early. He threw 90 pitches and lasted only four frames, surrendering three runs on eight hits. He also uncorked a pair of wild pitches that advanced two runners that eventually scored. 

The victory means the Phillies are one win away from advancing to the National League Division Series and facing another divisional foe with the Atlanta Braves. 

Cristian Pache, who was in the starting lineup more for his glove, delivered an RBI single in the fourth, pushing across Bryson Stott after he drove in J.T. Realmuto earlier in the frame with an RBI single up the middle. 

Johan Rojas scored the first run for the Phils, leading off the third with a single before advancing on a wild pitch. He later scored on Alec Bohm's double to left. At just 23-years-old, Rojas became the youngest position player to start a postseason game for the Phillies since Milt Stock in Game 1 of the 1915 World Series.

Every starter recorded a hit for the Phillies with Nick Castellanos collecting a pair of doubles while Trea Turner doubled and swiped two bases. 

Wheeler entered Tuesday having made three starts against the Marlins in the regular season, surrendering six runs over 18 innings. None were as dominant as this. He didn't allow a runner to reach second base until Josh Bell launched a double to right with one out in the seventh. Bell advanced to third on a wild pitch later in the inning and eventually scored on a single by Bryan De La Cruz, marking Wheeler's lone blemish on the evening. 

Jose Alvarado closed out the seventh, sitting down pinch-hitter Yuli Gurriel on strikes to strand runners on second and third.

"Yeah, it was a big strikeout," Thomson said. "We knew Gurriel was going to pinch-hit for Sanchez, but we like the matchup. The cutter's been fantastic the last three, four outings with Alvarado. We just like the matchup. Wheels was kind of running out of pitches at that point."

Craig Kimbrel surrendered a double to Bell in the ninth, but bounced back to void the threat and record the save. 

"The story was Wheeler," said Marlins manager Skip Schumaker. "He was just excellent."

Did You Know
Tuesday's win improved the Phillies to 23-11 in postseason games at Citizens Bank Park. Per Elias, among all team in MLB history to play at least 30 postseason games at a home venue, their .676 winning percentage at Citizens Bank Park ranks as the highest. 

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