2016 Game Recap

Franco’s Bat, Eickhoff’s Arm Beat Pads 2-1

Third baseman Maikel Franco hit a first inning homer and a third inning RBI double off Padres starter Colin Rea providing the only two runs Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff would need as the Phils won their second in a row, 2-1 over the Padres.

Franco Delivers 2-Out Power Stroke

Through nine games, Franco is hitting .379/.455/.655 with a pair of homers, placing him among the early leaders at the hot corner in all three slash lines. Franco’s first-inning shot was a thing of beauty, sailing fast and deep into the left field stands off a 2-2, 2 out offering. Franco was at it again with two outs in the third, driving a gapper on a first-pitch fastball that plated Odubel Herrera and put the Phillies up 2-0.

Franco’s pair of hits were two of the combined 11 total hits between the two teams (Phillies 5, Padres 6) as pitching ruled the day.

Eickhoff Uses Curve Ball to Buckle Pads

Eickhoff’s thumb that limited him in Spring Training seems to be fully healed, doesn’t it? Eickhoff struck out nine in seven shutout innings, using the curveball as his payoff pitch seven times. Eickhoff now leads Phillies starters with a 1.50 ERA and accomplished something remarkable, not done since 2006:

Eickhoff’s performance contributed to the new, suddenly dominant Phillies starting pitching staff:

Bullpen Takes a Deep Breath, Collects the Save

With Eickhoff in cruise control, the Phillies turned the ball over to David Hernandez in the eighth. Hernandez let Alexi Amarista single on a 1-1 count before striking out Travis Jankowski. Jon Jay would reach on a Ryan Howard throwing error, the first Phillies throwing error since 2012, to put runners on first and second with one out. Corey Spangenberg would walk to put the go-ahead run on base. After a visit from Pete Mackanin, Hernandez struck out Matt Kemp and Wil Myers to end the inning and the threat.

Jeanmar Gomez took the ball in the ninth looking for his fourth save in as many tries. Gomez made quick work of Melvin Upton Jr. and Jabari Blash before walking catcher Derek Norris on four-straight pitches. Norris took second on defensive indifference before pinch hitter Brett Wallace drove him in with a single. Gomez collected himself and put away pinch hitter Alexei Ramirez to earn his fourth save in four tries and to nab the Phillies a 2-1 victory, their second in a row. With the save, Gomez sits just one behind NL leader Jonathan Papelbon.

Starting Pitching Remains Class of NL

The Phillies 2.82 ERA among starters ranks fourth in MLB and in the NL. That mark comes as the team is tied for third in the NL and sixth in MLB in innings pitched among starters and first in the NL and second in MLB in strikeouts. In the small sample, the Phillies’ FIP (3.07) ranks fourth in MLB and second in the NL, behind only the Mets. Is this sustainable or are the Phillies feasting on bad lineups? Time will tell.

The Phillies look to win the four-game set with the Fathers tomorrow when Vince Velasquez (1-0, 0.00) will take the mound against Drew Pomeranz (1-0, 3.60). The Phillies improved their record to 4-5 and sit just three games behind the Washington Nationals for first place in the NL East.

 

 

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