Gameday

Phillies look to build a winning streak as Eflin takes mound



Zach Eflin will take the mound on Saturday night at PNC Park looking to help build a Phillies winning streak. (Kevin French/Icon Sportswire)

Following their 6-1 win against the host Pittsburgh Pirates last night, the Philadelphia Phillies will now look to build a genuine winning streak. The Phillies have won two in a row and three of their last four games.

Phillies manager Gabe Kapler will send right-hander Zach Eflin to the mound at PNC Park on Saturday night, while Pittsburgh skipper Clint Hurdle will counter with righty Joe Musgrove on the mound for the Bucs.

Eflin is coming off the worst start of his 2019 season, one in which he allowed seven runs over six innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers. That beating at the hands of baseball’s top ball club resulted in his ERA rising from 3.78 to the 4.16 mark.

Over his most recent two starts combined, Eflin has allowed 14 runs (13 earned) over just nine innings of work. It’s easy to forget that before July, Eflin had produced a solid 3.34 ERA for the season.

The Phillies offense has been scoring at an increased rate. Over their last four games, the Phillies bats have put 24 runs on the scoreboard. Bryce Harper has led the way with a .321 batting average (17 hits) during the month of July, including two home runs and 11 RBIs. Adam Haseley has begun to find his form, cracking home runs in each of the last two games.

The Phillies currently stand at 51-47 following Friday night’s victory. That is good for third place in the National League East Division, 7.5 games behind the division-leading Atlanta Braves. The Phillies are tied for the final NL Wildcard berth, and that is increasingly looking like their best path to the postseason.

Phillies Lineup

  1. Scott Kingery CF
  2. Jean Segura SS
  3. Bryce Harper RF
  4. Rhys Hoskins 1B
  5. J.T. Realmuto C
  6. Brad Miller 3B
  7. Cesar Hernandez 2B
  8. Adam Haseley LF
  9. Zach Eflin P

Pirates Lineup

  1. Adam Frazier 2B
  2. Bryan Reynolds RF
  3. Starling Marte CF
  4. Josh Bell 1B
  5. Colin Moran 3B
  6. Corey Dickerson LF
  7. Kevin Newman SS
  8. Jacob Stallings C
  9. Joe Musgrove P

 

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Matchup

  • Zach Eflin (7-9, 4.16 ERA, 88 strikeouts)
  • Eflin has started just one game against the Pirates in his career. However, that game was a gem. Eflin went nine innings, giving up no runs and striking out six while getting the win.
  • Joe Musgrove (6-8, 4.31 ERA, 90 strikeouts)
  • Musgrove is 1-0 in one appearance during his career vs the Phillies. He tossed three scoreless innings of relief and earned the win as a member of the Houston Astros on 7/24/17 at Citizens Bank Park.
  • Musgrove was originally scheduled to go on Sunday for Pittsburgh, but was pushed up due to an illness with the previously scheduled Saturday starter Trevor Williams. The Pirates have not as yet named a new Sunday starter.

 

Pregame Phillies Nuggets

  • Since 2016, the Phillies are 12-10 in their 22 games against the Pirates. They’ve scored 93 runs in those games, and have allowed 76 runs. However, the Phillies have now won eight of the last nine contests between the two teams. The Pirates are 36-21 against the Phillies at PNC Park since the gorgeous facility opened in 2001.
  • Harper hasn’t fared too well against the Pirates over the course of his career. In 40 games, the right fielder has just a .243 batting average with seven home runs, 21 RBIs, and 17 walks while striking out 36 times against Bucs pitching.
  • Jean Segura, meanwhile, has a solid .273 batting average against Pittsburgh in 67 games, with four home runs, 25 RBIs, 13 stolen bases and 13 walks.
  • Frazier has 21 hits this month; tied for the second-most hits among all National League players. He is hitting .412 in 13 games during July.
  • Moran went 2-for-3 with a double Friday night and is now hitting .442 with four doubles, a triple, six RBI and five runs scored in his first 14 games of July. Since May 19, Moran’s .335 batting average is the sixth-highest among all National League players.
  • Reynolds has gone 8-for-20 (.400) over his last five games and leads all Major League rookies in batting average (.339) and on-base percentage (.411) this year.

 

Programming Information

  • 7:05 p.m. EDT, @ PNC Park
  • TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
  • Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP, WTTM 1680 (Spanish)

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