On The Mound
- Zach Eflin was excellent in his second start of the season, carrying the team through seven innings and allowing just one run on three hits.
- Eflin’s only blemish came on a solo home run he allowed in the seventh inning.
- Eflin did not walk a batter.
- Pat Neshek got one out in the eighth inning before being lifted for Joely Rodriguez.
- Rodriguez entered the game with a runner at second, and got the next two batters out to keep the game tied at 1-1.
- Hector Neris had a rocky ninth inning, allowing a run on two hits and two walks before settling down and retiring the side.
At The Plate
- The offense managed five runs on eight hits.
- The team was held scoreless until the bottom of the seventh inning, when Freddy Galvis singled home Daniel Nava to tie the game.
- In the eighth, the offense broke out with three straight home runs from Cesar Hernandez, Aaron Altherr, and Odubel Herrera. It was the first time the team has had back-to-back-to-back homers since Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Pat Burrell accomplished the feat in 2008.
- Hernandez finished the game 2-4, another multi-hit game.
- Altherr has now hit in seven straight.
- Maikel Franco went 0-4, dropping his average to .171.
- Daniel Nava started in left, going 1-2 with two walks.
- Andrew Knapp caught the game, and went 0-3 at the plate.
- Michael Saunders got the rally in the eighth started with a pinch-hit double.
The Phillies earned their first sweep of the season, gaining three games of ground on the division rival Braves over the weekend.
For a team with as many offensive deficiencies as the Phillies to be playing .500 ball is pretty impressive. The team has been in almost every game that they’ve played, I can only think of two or three occasions where the team was blown away.
Through the first three weeks of the season, the biggest things that jump out to me is the depth of the pitching staff. The starting pitching has struggled to go deep at times, but they’ve kept the team in games and given them a chance to win almost every time out. Jeremy Hellickson and Jerad Eickhoff have been solid. Aaron Nola and Vince Velasquez have room to improve, but both guys have high ceilings. If Zach Eflin’s first two starts are any indication, he’s progressed a bit since his handful of starts a year ago, and could be a nice upgrade over the injured Clay Buchholz.
The bullpen has logged a lot of innings, and the closing situation still isn’t completely settled, but this bullpen has more reliable arms than previous years. Pat Neshek has been a nice surprise, and Joely Rodriguez has recovered from a rough start to the season to carve out a key role for himself.