Velasquez’s 16 K shutout leads Phillies to .500, series win

Philadelphia Phillies (5-5) starting pitcher Vince Velasquez dazzled in his Citizens Bank Park debut on Thursday, showcasing an impressive combination of power and control in the team’s 3-0 win over the San Diego Padres (3-7).

In his nine innings of work, Velasquez allowed just three hits and didn’t walk a single better to go with his 16 strikeouts. It was the most strikeouts in a game for a Phillies pitcher since Cliff Lee matched the feat in 2011.

Velasquez now has a combined 25 K’s in his two starts this season to go with the perfect 0.00 ERA.

Ryan Howard gave the Phils a 1-0 lead in the second inning with his team-leading third home run of the year. He also notched an RBI in the 6th with a sac fly that easily scored Odubel Herrera.

The third run was manufactured after an Andres Blanco double was followed by a sac bunt and a wild pitch. Peter Bourjos also doubled in the game which featured only four hits for Philadelphia.

Notables:

  • Velasquez is only the 6th pitcher in MLB history with 16 K, 0 BB, 0 R, and 3 or fewer hits in a start. The only active player to accomplish this feat is Washington’s Max Scherzer.
  • The Phillies outscored San Diego 11-5 over the four-game series and have now won five of their last six after an 0-4 start.
  • Phillies starting pitchers are third in the league with a 2.50 ERA on the season. Washington leads with a 2.30 mark.
  • The Phillies offense will still need to improve. The team ranks 25th in MLB in runs scored.
  • The Padres became the first team in MLB history to be shutout in five of their first ten games.

Next Up:

The division leading Washington Nationals come to town for a three-game weekend series. Jeremy Hellickson (1-0, 1.54 ERA) takes the hill on Friday for the Phillies as they look for their fourth straight win. Washington’s starting pitcher has yet to be announced. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.

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