By Sam Bush

Phillies ace Zack Wheeler is going on to Denver for next week’s All-Star Game.

And he took the loss last night to the Cubs and ended the first half of the season with a 6-5 record, a 2.26 ERA and 145 strikeouts in 119 2/3 innings.

Yes, the defense doomed him in the first inning and the bullpen did in the sixth.

And he looked pissed about being lifted from the game by manager Joe Girardi at 97 pitches with two outs in the sixth, two men on base and his club down two runs.

His replacement, Connor Brogdon, allowed a single to Joc Pederson and a double to Patrick Wisdom to bring home three runs.

Would Wheeler like to have had the chance to go after Pederson?

“I mean, you know, I felt fine, but it’s ultimately Joe’s decision, so leave it at that,” he told NBCSP.

“Well, he doesn’t ever want to come out, but that’s our job, to manage him and make sure he stays healthy and make sure that he’s a player for us all year and next year and the year beyond,” Girardi said. “You’ve got to think about those things. We’ve got to get him though this season. He’s on pace for over 220 innings right now.

“In the last inning, his velocity was down a little bit and I just get concerned as much as we’ve worked him. We’ve still got a long way to go. I don’t ever want to take him out, but I also have to manage his workload.”

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