Eflin missed with his location all day against a potent Jays lineup, which resulted in nine runs (eight earned) on nine hits with three walks and two strikeouts in just 2 2/3 innings. His ERA is now 27.00 after giving up three home runs in less than three innings of work.
It was historically bad. Eflin’s Game Score of 5 was the sixth-worst debut in Major League history, and the worst since Detroit’s Lou North in 1913.
And it was the worst debut in Phils history as well, worse than Severino Gonzalez’ 2 2/3 inning, seven-run, 10-hit debut against St. Louis last year.
Only Russ Miller’s debut against the Chicago Cubs in 1927 resulted in as many earned runs against, and the nine total runs given up by Eflin was second only to the 10 runs given up by Bob Adams in 1931.
Eflin was taking Vince Velasquez’ turn in the rotation thanks to Velasquez hitting the disabled list with a biceps strain. The 22-year-old Eflin had gotten off to a terrific start for Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season, going 5-2 with a 2.90 ERA in 11 starts, with a 55/11 K/BB ratio in 68 1/3 IP.
But as Eflin learned, locating your pitches is pretty important in the Majors. Student, meet your instructor, Josh Donaldson.
Luckily for Eflin, he’ll get another shot in five days against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citizens Bank Park.
At least he should be well rested.