Just as in that previous outing, Eflin was up to the task. The Phillies took this one by a 2-1 score, raising their record to 6-2 on the season. Eflin moves into the win column while Hector Neris picks up the save.
The game didn’t start out as Eflin and the packed crowd at Citizens Bank would have hoped. Twins’ leadoff batter Max Kepler started the game by drilling his third home run of the series to make it a 1-0 ball game.
The score wouldn’t change for quite some time. However, after that shaky start Eflin was able to keep his composure. He surrendered just four hits after that first inning, and showed his stamina by working through 105 pitches to tough out the win.
Trouble was, Twins starter Jose Berrios looked just as solid. The Phillies offense, which had been a juggernaut throughout the first seven games of this season, was being handled well by Berrios. The Phillies only had one hit through the first five innings, although the did manage to get a few baserunners on thanks to walks. However, there was no real offense to be mustered.
A big moment in the game came courtesy of Andrew McCutchen. In the top of the fourth, Marwin Gonzalez singled and then moved to second on a grounder. Eflin then gave up a hit to Ehire Adrianza, with Gonzalez making an attempt towards home. McCutchen fielded the ball and delivered a strike to the platse where Realmuto was able to apply the tag. As the broadcast pointed out at the time, McCutchen had an arm strength of 86.2 MPH.
What. A. Throw.
Andrew McCutchen keeps it a one-run game with a laser from left field. pic.twitter.com/DefJfos2ul
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) April 7, 2019
The Phillies were finally able to break through on Berrios in the bottom of the sixth. McCutchen began the inning with a walk, and ended up at third thanks to some heads-up baserunning on a Bryce Harper grounder. Rhys Hoskins then worked a fabulous nine-pitch at-bat. In the end, Hoskins came out on top. He sent the ninth pitch out towards left-center field, with the ball dropping into the flower beds, just barely making it over the fence. With that, Hoskins had provided the Phillies with a 2-1 lead.
Rhys Hoskins 13 RBIs 🔥🔥
Only Cody Bellinger has more in the National League pic.twitter.com/blftxoi85M
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) April 7, 2019
Hoskins’ two RBI give him 13 on the season, which as John Clark points out in the tweet above is second in the National League behind only Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers. Hitting behind Harper was bound to give Hoskins more RBI opportunities and that has indeed proven to be the case.
The Phillies bullpen, which has struggled often early in the season, managed to come in and finish off the Twins. David Robertson gave up one hit over 2/3 of an inning. Adam Morgan then ended the 8th inning. Hector Neris then came on to close it out with a pair of 9th inning strikeouts.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performances
Eflin was masterful today, going seven inning while allowing six hits and just one run, with no walks. After a shaky first inning in which he gave up the home run, he settled down and was able to keep the Twins guessing. Eflin had five strikeouts on the day. That total is down from his last start (where he had nine against the Nationals) but Eflin also went seven innings today as opposed to the five against Washington. Eflin will have a 2-0 record thanks to his quality start versus Minnesota.
Jose Berrios matched Eflin’s performance almost pitch for pitch. Berrios only allowed two hits through six innings, with the two earned runs both coming from Hoskins’ home run. Berrios walked three while striking out seven. The 24-year-old is coming off two double-digit win seasons in a row, and he looks like he’s on his way to a third straight. Berrios will go to 1-1 on the season.
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Zach Eflin
The Phillies were only able to score two runs against one of the better pitchers in the American League. While the offense wasn’t able to produce, Eflin bailed the club out with his strong performance, demonstrating that he could be in line for big things this season. Eflin has allowed just one run over his first dozen innings this season against two formidable opponents with 14 strikeouts.
- Monday, April 8th, versus the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Radio: 94 WIP, WTTM 1680
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