2016 Gameday

Phils split two with Jays in Toronto, Eflin struggles in MLB debut

Phillies helmetOn Monday, the Phillies crossed the border to play a quick two-game series in Toronto against the Blue Jays. The Phillies return home on Wednesday and will play two more games against the Jays at Citizens Bank Park.

Game 1

On Monday the Phillies defeated the Blue Jays 7-0.

“Wait did I read that right?”

No joking on this one. Jerad Eickhoff had his best curve ball working as he silenced the bats of the potent Blue Jays offense. He went six innings, allowing only three hits and four walks while picking up five strikeouts.

Eickhoff has really stared to bounce back after a bumpy start to the beginning of the season. His last two starts combined he has went 13 innings, allowing only five hits, one walk and one run.

Odubel Herrera orchestrated the offensive attack by lining an R.A. Dickey knuckle ball just over the right field wall in the third inning to get the Phillies on the board. He would pick up two more RBIs on the day finishing 2-for-5.

Ryan Howard added to the attack when he blasted his 10th homer of the season while Cesar Hernandez dialed up a 2-for-4 ballgame, scoring one run and driving in another.

Game 2

Due to Vincent Velasquez heading to the disabled list with a biceps strain, Zach Eflin was called up from AAA Lehigh Valley to make his major league debut on Tuesday. Unfortunately, the momentum from game one would not carry over into game two as the Phillies were demolished 11-3 Tuesday afternoon.

The heart of the Toronto lineup took advantage of Eflin’s inexperience and nervousness. Most of Toronto’s extra base hits were balls left up in the strike zone. The rookie ended his day fairly prematurely after 2.2 innings allowing eight earned runs on nine hits and three walks.

Despite the 11-3 shelling, Eflin found joy in his first game on the bump.

“Oh it was awesome,” Eflin said to CSN Philly. “I was obviously leaving some pitches up and big-league hitters are going to capitalize on that, but I was out there in front of 50,000 people playing the game that I love. Just got to bounce back and work on it. I had the time of my life.”

This season for the Iron Pigs, Eflin went 5-2 with a 2.90 ERA and strikeout to walk ratio of 5.00.

If there is ever a line up you do not want to face in your debut it is the Blue Jays who feature one of, if not the, most powerful lineup in the majors.

Phillies skipper, Pete Mackanin told CSN Philly: “This was his debut and I suppose he was a little nervous, he just made a lot of bad pitches. He normally locates a lot better than he did. He was just up in the zone with all of his pitches and he got hit,” he said. “Sorry to see his debut turn out that way, but this is a good lineup and you can’t make mistakes to them.”

The Phillies will be back at it Wednesday night in the home-series against the Jays. Game one is set to start at 7:05 pm.

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