The Phillies slapped together another lineup behind a promising starting pitcher, said a quick prayer, and watched as Jerad Eickhoff continued to impress while his offense summoned little more than a pair of ill-gotten runs.
The curve was working early, impressing and mind-shattering the Mets who had already seen it before and clearly dreaded its return. Eickhoff started slow, calmly spreading out his strikeouts early on, but went on a tear for the last three innings of his seven-inning appearance, getting seven batters on strikes and putting his total at nine for the second straight game.
Jerad Eickhoff: 7th pitcher since 1913 to have 4 or more of first 11 career starts be 7+ IP, 9+ K— Paul Boyé (@paul_boye) April 19, 2016
There was an uptick in walks with three on the evening, and David Wright tagged Eickhoff with one of his two home runs of the night. A Lucas Duda double in the sixth - made worse by a dive-and-a-miss from Lough in left - proved troublesome as well. But as Pete Mackanin pointed out, the Phillies were in this game, thanks entirely to their starter - they just couldn't bring the heat vs. Noah Syndergaard.
Freddy Galvis and newly promoted outfielder David Lough provided the evening's extra base hits, which collectively resulted in one of the Phillies' two runs when Galvis wound up scoring. No one had more than one hit, and the rest were all a peppering of singles that proved not enough to outwit Syndergaard. The most exciting saga of the Phillies' offense, Odubel Herrera's discipline and OBP, saw another chapter as the center fielder worked another walk and stole a base while Maikel Franco and Ryan Howard struck out swinging in the background. Herrera also knocked in one of the Phillies' runs, following Galvis' double with an RBI one-bagger.
While the Phillies flailed, Eickhoff departed after the seventh with the score 2-1. David Hernandez and Elvis Araujo split the difference of the final two innings, but combined to allow five hits and three earned runs, including Wright's second homer, off Araujo and a Neil Walker blast off Hernandez just for giggles and farts.
Less than reliable Cameron Rupp singled to start the ninth, three runs down, and Lough's double put two runners in scoring position with no outs. What a perfect time for three quick outs courtesy of Cesar Hernandez, Andres Blanco (who at least logged an RBI), and Darin Ruf. On a night defined by a lack of charge in the offense, it only made sense for the game to close on a Darin Ruf strikeout; Ruf, of course, being the bat so valuable that the Phillies tried (are still trying?) to put him in an outfield spot so he AND Howard's hot bat (BA of.189 entering tonight's game) can both be in the lineup.