Final Score: Phillies 2, Braves 1
The Phillies needed a good all-around pitching performance to make people forget about Tuesday’s atrocious outing from the bullpen. They got that in the form of a quality Zach Eflin start along with three scoreless innings from Ranger Suárez.
The offense, however, failed to show up. That is until rookie Luke Williams walked up to the plate in the ninth. He became a cult hero Tuesday with a three-base bunt in his first MLB plate appearance. About 24 hours later, his first-career big league home run lifted the Phillies to a desperately needed win over the Atlanta Braves. So far, it has to be the biggest hit of the Phillies’ season.
They’ll go for a series victory on Thursday afternoon against the Braves. Zack Wheeler will take the mound against Ian Anderson.
- With the bases loaded and nobody out, Eflin was able to escape the second inning without allowing any runs to score. The trouble began when Alec Bohm’s throw to first base on a ground ball took Rhys Hoskins off the base. After a walk and a hit, Bohm was somewhat able to redeem himself by throwing out the runner who reached on his error at home plate. Eflin than struck out the opposing pitcher and kept Ronald Acuña Jr. off the base paths with an inning-ending double play.
- In the fifth, Eflin made a solid grab on the mound on a ground ball from Freddie Freeman. His throw was off target, but Torreyes made an excellent diving stop to his right to keep the ball from landing into center field. Torreyes’ throw to first was in time, but second base umpire Nic Lentz originally called Acuña safe at second as Torreyes’ foot appeared to slip off the bag. The Phillies challenged and the call was overturned.
- William Contreras’ sixth consecutive hit was an RBI single to give the Braves a 1-0 lead in the sixth. Eflin recorded the first two outs easily only to give up three consecutive singles, including Contreras’ hit.
- Suárez, in relief of Eflin, threw three scoreless innings. He finally managed to get Contreras out on strikes. His scoreless innings streak now stands at 20 1/3 innings.
- Williams delivered a big home run in the ninth for the team’s first walk-off home run of the season. Props should also go to Andrew McCutchen for working out a walk to make Williams’ at-bat possible.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
Tucker Davidson: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 90 pitches
It’s a running joke, but the Phillies have a way of making young pitchers with little MLB experience look like Tom Seaver. Davidson did dominate in Triple-A prior to getting the call to Atlanta, but he managed to strand six runners in scoring position over six scoreless innings.
Zach Eflin: 6 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO, 94 pitches
Part of the reason why Eflin is a solid No. 3 is because he pitches to contact effectively. The problem is that he gives up a ton of hits in the process. In 12 starts this season, Eflin has given up at least six hits in 10 of them. After tonight’s outing, Eflin moves up to second in hits allowed among all MLB starters. Having a poor infield defense behind him doesn’t help.
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Luke Williams
The Phillies call the former Team USA breakout star Captain America. All they needed was for him to keep the line moving, but Williams played the hero instead. His swing could be a momentum shifter in the Phillies’ season.
Didi Gregorius (elbow) began a rehab assignment on Wednesday night in Lehigh Valley. He batted lead off and played shortstop. He went 0-for-1 with a walk in two plate appearances in a loss against the Rochester Red Wings.
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Thursday, June 10 vs. Atlanta Braves at 1:05 pm ET
- NBC Sports Philadelphia; MLB Network (out-of-market only)
- 94 WIP
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