Zach Eflin’s major league debut did not go as he hoped it would. Eflin was chased after 3 innings after allowing 8 runs to the Toronto Blue Jays’ lineup. But that was two starts ago. And now that Eflin has “gotten his feet wet” as an MLB starting pitcher, he’s showing off his stuff that impressed the Phillies (31-44) enough to earn a call-up when Vince Velasquez went to the DL after his biceps strain. Last night, Eflin turned in an excellent performance, as he allowed no earned runs for the first time in his career and left the game with the Phillies up 2-1. However, the Phils’ bullpen was not able to hold that lead, surrendering 4 runs in the bottom of the 7th inning. A late Phillies rally was not enough as the team would eventually fall 5-4 to the Giants (48-27).
The Phillies offense actually out-hit the Giants offense (10 hits to 9) last night. The Giants have been one of the best teams in baseball so far this season, but the Phillies offense has been much improved on this road trip, and the team turned in yet another double digit hit performance. The Giants opened the scoring in the 1st inning, getting an unearned run off Eflin thanks to an RBI single by Angel Pagan. An RBI double by Ryan Howard in the 4th, and a sac fly by Odubel Herrera in the 5th gave the Phillies the 2-1 advantage. The Giants’ big inning came in the 7th when Brandon Belt hit a one out, bases loaded double to deep center that would clear the bases and give the Giants the 4-2 lead. Two batters later, Pagan drove in Belt with an RBI single, making it 5-2. The Phillies got 2 runs in the 8th off of an RBI single by Freddy Galvis and a bases loaded walk by Peter Bourjos to make it a 5-4 game, but that would be all of the scoring in the game.
As I mentioned before, Eflin turned in easily his best performance of his young MLB career last night. Eflin pitched well through 4 innings in his last start, but the Dbacks lineup got to him in the 5th inning of that one. Last night was Eflin’s night, however, as he allowed just the 1 unearned run on 5 hits in 6 very solid innings, however getting the no decision. Severino Gonzalez came in to pitch in the 7th, but was removed after giving up a hit to the only batter he faced. Elvis Araujo came in for Gonzalez and served up the big hit to Belt that gave the Giants the lead back. Araujo then allowed Pagan to single home Belt. Gonzalez was charged with 1 earned run in 0+ innings, while Araujo suffered the loss, allowing 3 runs in 2/3 innings pitched. Edubray Ramos, who was called up from Triple-A yesterday to replace the injured Andrew Bailey, made his MLB debut last night as he got the final out of the 7th inning, getting Gregor Blanco to ground out. Hector Neris came in for Ramos and pitched a perfect 8th inning for the Phillies. Giants starter Jake Peavy went 7 strong innings, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks while earning the win. Peavy improves to 4-6 on the year with a 5.22 ERA thanks to last night’s performance. Giants closer Santiago Casilla recorded the final two outs in the ballgame, earning his 17th save of the year.
The Phillies and Giants will be back at it tonight at 10:05 p.m. at AT&T Park for the second of three games in this weekend series. Jeremy Hellickson (4-6, 4.41 ERA) will be on the mound for the Phils against Giants ace Madison Bumgarner (8-3, 1.85 ERA). The Phillies’ offense has been on fire the last few games, but they will have a tough time getting to Bumgarner, who was been one of the most effective pitchers in all of baseball this season.
Photo by Michael Connor (via Wikimedia Commons)