The Philadelphia Phillies (54-49) are looking to rebound from one of their more odder defeats of the season on Friday against the Atlanta Braves (61-43). In a game they were seemingly out of by the middle innings, the Phillies managed to out hit a struggling Atlanta offense against arguably the team’s best starting pitcher. Jake Arrieta looked well on his way to another solid inning, but the Braves lineup led by perennial Phillie-killer Brian McCann put up a four spot in the fifth and didn’t look back from there.
The Phillies will send Zach Eflin to the mound in an attempt to salvage any opportunity of getting closer to the top of the division by the end of the weekend. Starting Eflin this weekend was another interesting decision by Gabe Kapler. After Eflin’s last start in Pittsburgh, the 25-year-old spoke on how his body felt ‘heavy,’ but did not elaborate much further than that. Kapler could have skipped his start this week since the Phillies had three off-days in a span of eight days. When asked if he considered resting Eflin, Kapler had this to say:
We just don’t have enough information beyond that to have that be a major factor. There was just nothing to it. In fairness, we were just kind of talking openly and it just took on a life on its own. But being tired in the middle of a season is kind of normal for pitchers and not necessarily a sign of anything serious. And I think that’s the way we took it after lots of questions.
Eflin will be opposed by a much fresher arm in Max Fried. Fried is just coming off the IL today. His last start was on July 15 against the Brewers, where he pitched five shutout innings before being pulled due to injury.
Here’s everything you need to know for tonight’s second-ever Saturday Night Special…
- Scott Kingery, second base
- Jean Segura, short stop
- Bryce Harper, right field
- Rhys Hoskins, first base
- J.T. Realmuto, catcher
- Maikel Franco, third base
- Sean Rodriguez, left field
- Zach Eflin, pitcher
- Roman Quinn, center field
- Ronald Acuña Jr. right field
- Ozzie Albies, second base
- Freddie Freeman, first base
- Josh Donaldson, third base
- Johan Camargo, short stop
- Adam Duvall, left field
- Tyler Flowers, catcher
- Ender Inciarte, center field
- Max Fried, pitcher
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Matchup
- Zach Eflin (4.25 ERA, 4.57 FIP, 4.74 xFIP) vs. Max Fried (4.08 ERA, 3.87 FIP, 3.45 xFIP)
- Eflin’s Fourth of July start against the Braves was a disaster. He last one three innings, giving up six earned runs, seven hits and two home runs in a loss.
- Fried didn’t fair much better against the Phillies in June. In four and two thirds innings, he gave up five earned runs and two home runs, but earned a no-decision.
Pregame Phillies Nuggets
- The first and only time the Phillies donned their Saturday Night Special all- burgundy uniforms was on May 19, 1979. That night’s starting pitcher, Larry Christensen, described the uniform color as ‘purple-nurple,’ and Greg Luzinski told then-Phillies owner Ruly Carpenter that he’d rather be traded or released then wear that uniform again. It will be interesting to see how the 2019 team reacts to having to wear a jersey with a zipper for the first time in their careers, let alone the all-burgundy colors players detested more than forty years ago.
- Brian McCann’s 426 ft. second-decker home run was his 14th career home-run against the Phillies. He is a .280 lifetime hitter against the Phillies with an .838 OPS. He has higher a career OPS against the Phillies then any other National League East team. Fortunately for the Phillies, he’ll be out of the lineup tonight.
- Eflin has been the Phillies most efficient pitcher this season. He is averaging only 3.58 pitches per batters faced, good for third fewest in baseball behind last night’s Braves starter Mike Soroka (3.56) and Masahiro Tanaka (3.57).
- The Phillies have acquired utility player José Pirela from the San Diego Padres in exchange for cash considerations. The team have also transferred pitcher Tommy Hunter to the 60-day IL.
- The Braves have also made a few transactions of their own. They have placed Dansby Swanson on the 10- day IL, retroactive to July 24, with a foot contusion. They have also placed Nick Markakis on the 10-day IL with a fractured left wrist.
Ticket IQ Programming Information
- 7:05 at Citizens Bank Park
- NBC 10
- Sportsradio 94 WIP; WTTM 1680