Phillies look to start win streak after salvaging finale in Los Angeles

 

Our Philadelphia Phillies (53-63) dropped the first two games to the Los Angeles Dodgers (64-50) this week, but won the finale 6-2 to cap off a 3-3 road trip to California. They now get nine straight at home to try to build some August momentum, kicking off with three games versus the Colorado Rockies this weekend.

Game one in LA was a 9-4 loss, after starter Zach Eflin gave up five first inning runs and exited after just three innings. The bigger story was injury though, and he was placed on the 15-day DL after the game with a knee injury.

This could be more then just a minor issue, as manager Pete Mackanin described the injury as a “chronic issue”. Eflin elaborated on Tuesday:

“I’ve been dealing with knee soreness for years.  This year has kind of been more relevant than previous years. . . . I’ve had it my whole career. I’ve gotten treatment my whole career. And it’s getting to be a little much right now. I woke up this morning and they were pretty stiff and sore.”

Neither were sure if we’ll see Eflin pitch again this season, and in my opinion, the prospects are slim. Let him rest, get some rehab, and hopefully return healthy next season.

On the offensive side, the Phillies struggled with runners in scoring position again, going 1-8. The only highlights were Tommy Jospeh’s 15th home run of the year, and an RBI for Cameron Rupp.

Game two started out better, with Aaron Altherr knocking his 3rd home run in 12 games since his return to the lineup in late July. Although he’s hitting just .241, it’s looking increasingly likely that Altherr will be a starting outfielder moving forward into 2017.

Things unraveled quickly from there though, as starter Vince Velasquez was knocked around for nine runs and failed to get through the 5th inning. He did strike out six, but the Dodgers hit him hard all game, with the majority of the damage coming on three two-run homers. The Phillies would lose 9-3, with the only other run coming from Freddy Galvis‘ 10th home run of the season.

Things finally turned around for the Phillies in game three with a 6-2 victory. It was Galvis again, this time with a three-run, go-ahead homer in the 7th that proved to be the difference. Jeremy Hellickson was cruising through five innings, but left after just 71 pitches with back tightness, but fortunately, isn’t expected to miss a start. The Dodgers made it 3-2 in the 7th, but Ryan Howard broke it open with a bases loaded double in the 9th to lock up the win.

Chase Utley finished the series 3-13 for the Dodgers with one RBI. He’s hitting .249 with 8 HR and 33 RBI on the season.

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