Philadelphia had one of its signature sports crap-attacks on Sunday as the Flyers' playoff elimination - pushed back for just enough time to make their series against the Capitals more interesting - bled right unto the Phillies' failure to complete their first sweep of the season just a few hours later.
Jerad Eickhoff has generated some buzz with every start this season as the young hurler's early success is tracked over every bump in the road. Even in a game in which Eickhoff gave up a mountain of runs just before exiting, he still managed break off seven K's on his way out the door. Through three innings, he didn't appear to be too flummoxed by the Brewers before hitting a hiccup in the fourth - Ryan Braun hit another home run (all but unavoidable) and a few subsequent base hits allowed an Aaron Hill sac fly to tie the game at 2-2.
Brewers last place with worst run diff in MLB, but Ryan Braun looks like vintage Braun. Oppo HR off Eickhoff lifts him to .359/.431/.641.— Jonah Keri (@jonahkeri) April 24, 2016
But Eickhoff emerged from the dugout in the fifth and set down Milwaukee quickly, adding two more strikeouts to his total on the day (He would finish with 7 SO, 0 BB, 9 H, and 7 ER in 5.1 IP) . Then, the sixth inning happened. Scooter Gennett, particularly troublesome this weekend, led off with a home run that cut the Phillies' lead to 4-3. Nine batters later, Gennett struck out to end the inning, but these at-bats bookended a sequence that included five extra base hits, including an Alex Presley home run. Hector Neris came in to try and clean things up part of the way through, and only allowed two of the aforementioned hits before the inning came to a merciful end, the score now 8-4 in Milwaukee's favor.
The game's key moment apparently came down to Eickhoff shaking off Cameron Rupp's call for a heater and going with a third consecutive curveball to Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the sixth, who was the opposite of fooled and drove the loopy offering for a lead-stealing two-run double off Ryan Howard's glove.
The Phillies offense had shown some productivity early on, as Eickhoff himself had been the first to knock in a run with a single in the second. Maikel Franco's terrifying weekend came to an end against an uncharacteristically effective Wily Peralta, though he did help with an RBI single. And just before the Great Sixth Inning Disaster of '16 began, the Phillies worked a pair of doubles from Cameron Rupp and Cesar Hernandez into the top of the inning, giving them a 4-2 lead. Odubel Herrera's sac fly in the ninth did not bring in the four runs the Phillies needed in quick fashion to recapture the lead.
And so, with the Flyers being jettisoned from the NHL playoffs and the Phillies winning two out of three games against a poor Brewers roster, thus concluded the most successful Philadelphia sports weekend in recent memory.