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Eflin returns to the rotation as Phillies seek consecutive series victories



The Phillies are looking to keep the undefeated streak in the Charlie Manuel era alive. (Destiny Lugardo/Phillies Nation)

The Phillies have scored a combined 27 runs in the first five games of this current home stand. They managed to rough up one of the National League’s better young pitchers on Friday night. They greeted Charlie Manuel with an 11-1 routing of the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday and followed it up with their most thrilling comeback of the decade all thanks to Bryce Harper. Hittin’ season is in full swing.

For the Phillies to earn their season-high fifth consecutive victory, the hits will need to keep on coming. They will face Dinelson Lamet. He made his long-awaited return from Tommy John surgery in early July and has put up excellent numbers for the Padres so far. Lamet has had issues with his command as he’s walked seven hitters in his last two starts. If the lineup is able to work the count on Lamet and take advantage of any middle-of-the-zone mistakes with runners on, the Phillies should do just fine in this game.

The team will send Zach Eflin to the mound in his return to the starting rotation. He’s taking over for Jake Arrieta, who is likely to undergo season-ending surgery on his right elbow.

Here’s everything you need to know for tonight’s matchup…

Padres Lineup

  1. Manuel Margot, center field
  2. Josh Naylor, left field
  3. Manny Machado, third base
  4. Eric Hosmer, third base
  5. Francisco Mejía, catcher
  6. Hunter Renfroe, right field
  7. Ty France, second base
  8. Luis Urías, short stop
  9. Dinelson Lamet, pitcher

Phillies Lineup

  1. Rhys Hoskins, first base
  2. Bryce Harper, right field
  3. J.T. Realmuto, catcher
  4. Corey Dickerson, left field
  5. Jean Segura, short stop
  6. César Hernández, second base
  7. Scott Kingery, third base
  8. Adam Haseley, center field
  9. Zach Eflin, pitcher

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Matchup

  • Zach Eflin (7-11, 4.49 ERA, 4.84 FIP, 4.86 xFIP) vs. Dinelson Lamet (1-2, 3.86 ERA, 3.82 FIP, 3.78 xFIP)
  • Eflin made his only career start against the Padres around this time last year in San Diego. He was the losing pitcher in a game in which he struck out eight and gave up only two earned runs through six innings.
  • Lamet went seven innings, striking out seven and giving up only two earned runs on three hits in a victory in his only career start against the Phillies in 2017.

Pregame Phillies Nuggets

  • Before Friday’s game, the Padres NL Rookie of the Year candidate Fernando Tatis Jr. was placed on the 10-day IL with a back injury that will end his season. The injury has been the result of “common usage” according to Padres manager Andy Green. Tatis dominated at the plate this season, holding a slash line of .317/.379/.590 with 13 doubles, 22 home runs and 53 RBI. Second baseman Ian Kinsler was also placed on the 10-day IL and is expected to miss the rest of the season with a neck injury.
  • Jared Hughes will be available for the first time for the Phillies in tonight’s game after being claimed off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds. Edubray Ramos was transferred to the 60-day IL in the corresponding move and last night’s lead-off hitter Roman Quinn was also placed on the 10-day IL with a right groin strain.
  •  Many Phillies fans cite the team’s new hitting coach as the reason why Harper’s bat has been heating up. In actuality, Harper’s new hitting stance may be the catalyst for his recent success. Per Mike Petriello of MLB.com, ever since he ditched holding his bat on his shoulder for a more upright stance on July 27, Harper’s strike out rate is down four percent (27% to 23%), his hard-hit rate is up by an impressive 12% (45% to 57%) and his walk-rate is up by seven points (15% to 22%). Harper’s pull percentage is also on par with where it was when he had early season success. (chart courtesy of Fangraphs)

  • It’s clear the Phillies clubhouse has fully embraced Manuel. The team wore red “Tapiopa” shirts on Friday night in reference to Manuel and Larry Bowa’s Whisper Challenge video frequently played between innings at Citizens Bank Park. In that video, Bowa is tasked with enunciating phrases while Manuel tries to guess those phrases while wearing noise-cancelling headphones. One of Bowa’s phrases was “Tapioca.” Manuel correctly guesses the phrase, but hilariously mispronounces it as “Tapiopa.” The players seem to have enjoyed Manuel’s error so much that they have made it an inside joke in the clubhouse.

Ticket IQ Programming Information

  • 7:05 at Citizens Bank Park
  • NBC Sports Philadelphia
  • Sportsradio 94 WIPWTTM 1680 (Spanish)
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