Coming off a sweep by the Washington Natinals, the last game being a tough loss in the 9th, a game the Philadelphia Phillies had been winning earlier , the Phils looked to get back in the W column, and also to end a 6 game road losing streak. RHP Jerad Eickhoff (3-8; 3.68 ERA) faced off against RHP fast knuckleballer R. A. Dickey (4-6, 4.06) for the Toronto Blue Jays. On a personal note, I would rather be watching the corn grow in my garden than watching Dickey pitch, but duty calls. It was worth it though as Eickhoff and an opportunistic offense, shut out the Blue-Jays 7-Nil.
OBP Machine Odubel Herrera figured Dickey out 1st as he hit a 2-1 knuckler at the top end of the hitting zone, for a 2 out HR down the RF line in the 3rd. Eickhoff followed w/ a 1-2-2-3 SDI.
Both pitchers were in control for the next few innings. Eickhoff did have to work out of a 2 out jam in the 5th, but his 5th k ended the 1st and 3rd threat.
Leading off the 7th DH Ryan Howard sent Dickey’s 3rd knuckler to visit Herrara’s shot, which gave the Phillies a 2-0 lead. A one out Cody Asche walk, thankfully sent Dickey to the showers, 6.1 innings, 5 H, 3R, 2 on HRs, 4 k’s, 2 BB’s on 104 pitches. Peter Bourjos smacked an automatic double off reliever JoeBiagini to CF, to score Asche, and add one more ER to Dickey’s line. Herrara then plated Bourjos w/ a solid single, to give Biagini an ER of his own. Those were 3 Huge insurance runs in that inning, to help the pen hold this for Eickhoff, who had thrown 106 pitches – 64 for strikes through 6 – 0 R, on 3 H, 5 K’s, but 4 BB’s which helped get that pitch count up. All in all a very good QS as he handled a pretty good hitting lineup fairly easily w/ only one real jam. David Hernandez, Hector Neris, – helped out by a sweet 5-3 DP, Andres Blanco to Tommy Joseph – and Andrew Bailey kept the clean sheet for the Phillies. With the W Eickhoff improves to 4-8, and the L for Dickey drops him to 4-7. No save in this one, but nobody is complaining about an easy win for the Phillies.
1st things 1st: It was the 1st win on a Monday night this year, ending an 0-13, streak going back to last year. It was also the 1st SO of the Blue Jays this season
Milestones to go before I retire: Howard hit his career 367th HR , passing Lance Berkman (80th), to move 2 behind Todd Helton and Ralph Kiner in 78th.
Good and Bad Nights: Bourjos and Herrara each went 2/4 w/ 2 RBIs for Peter and 3 for Odubel, while Freddy Galvis and Joseph each went 0/4 w/ 2 k’s. They both did contribute w/ some nice plays in the field.
Next Ups: RHP Zach Eflin (5-2 3.90 for LHV) makes his MLB debut tomorrow against RHP Marcus Stroman (5-2, 4.94) in a 12:27 Matinee. I will be in the ballpark on Wednesday night w/ some live tweets for @pattisonavenue , and back here in my regular Thursday spot. Our Eric Christensen will be here for you the next two games.