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2021 Postgame Recaps

Phillies drop series finale to Giants behind ineffective Eflin

Zach Eflin struggled Sunday. (Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

Final Score: Giants 11, Phillies 2

Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi has often said that momentum is only as good as the next day’s starting pitcher. One day after his team put up 13 runs to give itself a chance to win the series from the MLB-best San Francisco Giants and finish a tough West Coast road trip at 3-3, Girardi’s argument was given some credence.

Zach Eflin — who has been one of baseball’s better No. 3 starters this season — had his worst outing of the year, giving up a season-high six earned runs through five-plus innings of work. The Phillies’ offense couldn’t nearly overcome it, as they recorded just one hit outside of J.T. Realmuto, who finished a triple shy of the cycle.

It was the long ball that did Eflin in. The Giants took him deep four times, comprising four of the nine hits and four of the six extra-base knocks he allowed.

Instead of evening up the road trip and the season series with the Giants, the Phillies dropped each with a 2-4 record. Instead of entering Monday’s off day above .500, they’ll carry a 34-35 record into a two-game home series against the Washington Nationals, who have won seven of eight.

Top Plays

  • Two days, two first-inning home runs for Mike Yastrzemski. The Giants’ right fielder deposited an elevated fastball from Zach Eflin a clean 400 feet into right field to hand the Phillies an early deficit. It would’ve been a solo homer were it not for a Rhys Hoskins error that allowed leadoff man LaMonte Wade Jr. to reach.
  • Wilmer Flores followed in Yastrzemski’s footsteps by belting a back-to-back homer just over the wall in left. It tied for the most home runs Eflin has allowed in a start all year, and both came before the righty recorded a single out:
  • J.T. Realmuto cranked a 433-foot homer to center field in the top of the third. It was the Phillies’ third home run of at least 425 feet in the series, and more importantly, the two-out big fly cut the Phillies’ deficit to 3-2:
  • But the Phillies gave those runs right back in the bottom half of the frame in an eerily similar manner. Brandon Crawford hit a two-run shot of his own to almost the exact same spot as Realmuto’s homer, putting the Phillies down 5-2:
  • Eflin gave up his fourth home run of the game in the fifth, when Flores tagged him again for a solo shot just a few feet to the right of his previous first-inning home run. It put the Giants up four.
  • Eflin gave up back-to-back doubles to Donovan Solano and Steven Duggar to start the sixth. That was it for his outing, as Spencer Howard came on in relief with the Phillies down 7-2.
  • Howard struck out two and got Wade to pop up to end the threat in the sixth, but he gave up three walks, two singles and a wild pitch in a two-run frame. Héctor Neris, who hadn’t pitched since Wednesday, came in and left the bases loaded.
  • David Hale was on mop-up duty in the eighth. After recording two outs, he gave up four straight hits, and two more runs scored to make it 11-2.
  • John Brebbia pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, and that was that.

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance

Zach Eflin: 5.0 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO, 88 pitches

Eflin’s problem wasn’t that he couldn’t find the strike zone — he walked none and threw 61 strikes to 27 balls — it was that he could only find the middle of it. The Giants, who entered the day as the National League home run leaders, certainly made him pay, giving him the second four-homer game of his career (May 28, 2017). Of note: Each of Eflin’s four most-used pitches (sinker, four-seam fastball, slider, changeup) was taken out of the yard. His ERA jumped to 4.39.

Sammy Long: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO, 84 pitches

Sunday was Long’s first MLB start, and it was one to remember. Hitters not named J.T. Realmuto couldn’t muster up much damage against him — in fact, only one other Phillie (Matt Vierling) recorded a hit against the lefty. Long lowered his overall season ERA to 4.20.

Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Wilmer Flores

The former Met torched the Phillies for two home runs and two more singles for 10 total bases on the day. He had a hit in each of the three games over the weekend, finishing 6-for-9 with the two homers.

Ticket IQ Next Game

  • Tuesday, June 22 vs. Washington Nationals at 7:05 p.m. ET
  • Citizens Bank Park
  • NBC Sports Philadelphia
  • 94 WIP


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