By Art Beitchman

Taking 2 of 3 games from the St. Louis Cardinals this weekend is getting to be the norm for a Phillies team on a historic run.

But starter Ranger Suarez getting his left hand injured Saturday night was much bigger news.

Luckily the X-rays were negative.

He also said his hand felt much better after one day, the swelling went down, which is a relief for the fan base.

The Phillies have the strongest rotation in all of baseball and could weather the storm should Suarez missed a game or two.

Of course having one of the best starters in the game back as soon as possible is ideal, but they will be sure he’s ready to go before putting him on the mound again.

The Phillies’ starting pitcher has gone six or more innings in 37 of the team’s first 58 games.

The team is 30-7 in those games. Aaron Nola was the latest to accomplish it; he went 6 1/3 innings Friday night. His ERA is 3.03.

Nola leads the National League with 77 1/3 innings. Zack Wheeler is third with 73 2/3 innings. And Suárez is fifth with 72 innings. Those pitchers take pride in that.

The Phillies have consecutive days off late next week, Thursday and Friday, then one more off day after the London games. Staying in rotation means six or seven days between starts for Nola and Wheeler.

Wheeler likes pitching on regular rest as much as possible but will allow for an extra day when it’s built into the game schedule. He will pitch tonight against the Brewers with an extra day of rest. Then, if the Phillies stay in rotation, he would make his next turn on seven days’ rest.

Wheeler, unlike Suárez, has handled a heavier workload before in his career. The Phillies will look for spots to ease back on Wheeler — they could deploy a six-man rotation later this summer like they have in each of the last two seasons — but they want the ace’s input on these matters.


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