On the night yet another Philadelphia Phillies (38-46, 4th place NL East) Rule 5 draft pick was named to the All Star Game (Shane Victorino ’09, ’11, Dave Hollins ’93) in Odubel Herrera, they looked to win their 3rd series in a row. The Phils RHP Zach Eflin (0-2, 5.75 ERA) was on the hill in a effort to build on his progressively better last three starts where his ERA was 2.55. He would face the Atlanta Braves (28-55, 5th place) RHP Mike Foltynewicz (2-2, 3.72), a hard thrower who averages an over 96 MPH fast ball, on his 2nd outing since coming off the DL.
The Phillies did keep the bats alive, but the story of the night was the Gem thrown by Zach Eflin, getting his 1st ever MLB Win, and doing so in complete game fashion, only giving up one run on a solo HR. He was the first Phillie to throw a CG for his first MLB W since Mike Williams, 24 years ago to the day.
The Phillies scored first on a Peter Bourjos (4) solo shot to LF on a 91 MPH, 0-2 fastball – which may be considered a change-up for Foltynewicz as the 1st two strikes were @ 98. Eflin himself was averaging in the mid 90’s with his FB, mixing in a mid 80’s slider and change.
In the fourth, hits by Franco and Tommy Joseph, followed by a WP and a sac fly by Freddy Galvis – 2nd game in a row he had a productive out, even while not hitting – added a run. This all followed a solo Blast by Cody Asche (4) to RCF, so it was then 3-0.
Meanwhile Eflin gave up a hit to the lead-off guy in five out of his nine innings, the only hits besides the HR – all singles – but double play balls helped get out of four of those, and two K’s ended a fifth.
The Phils kept their foot on the gas with long solo shots by Franco (16) and Joseph (9) in the 6th to make it 5-0, and Foltynewicz was mercifully pulled after 5.2 In, 8H, 5R – all earned, 6K, 1 BB, 4HR’s. Eflin had his 1st non SDI in the 7th, as the Braves Ender Inciarte (1) got in on the solo HR party to end Eflin’s shut out bid. Interestingly Enciarte’s late replacement yesterday Erick Aybar also hit his 1st of the season.
Nobody threatened the rest of the game so w/ 18k+ Phans on their Pheet during an easy 9th inning w/ a K, GO and PO to Franco, 22 Yr old Zach Eflin (1-2, 4.30) got his 1st ever MLB win, a CG, 6H, 1R on a HR, 6K, 0BB, only 92 P – 65 for strikes. The L went to Foltynewicz (2-3, 4.29). The Phillies BP got a much needed night off albeit a quick one w/ the game clocked at a rare 2:08.
Streak Watch: Bourjos extended his career high hitting streak to 14, including 7 multi hit games. Other streaks continued were by Franco w/ a 5 gamer, Herrara w/ 3. Cameron Rupp went 0-4 ending his streak @ 10 games, as did Hernandez, 0-2, @ 7. Overall the team tops MLB over the last 14 games of Bourjos streak, hitting .317 -160 for 505.
Swing and a Looong Drive: Phillies tied their season high w/ 4 HR’s in a game – all solo shots by Asche, Bourjos, Franco and Joseph. Franco’s was his 3rd consecutive game w/ a dinger.
Next Ups: The Phillies go for the sweep w/ RHP Jeremy Hellickson (6-6, 4.06) Vs. RHP Tyrell Jenkins (0-1, 5.79) a former 1st rounder making his 1st MLB start. He did have a 2.96 ERA in nine starts at Triple-A. Our own Eric Christensen will cover this 1:05 matinee for us.