What else can you say? The last time I recapped a game for Zach Eflin, I had to admit that I was wrong about him for 2019. Now, he’s put together three great starts in a row. Sure the competition - Marlins, Nationals, Royals - isn’t exactly playoff worthy, but isn’t what he’s doing what he’s supposed to do against teams like that? Isn’t he supposed to dominate them? I never really understand that argument where people get overly skeptical when good teams beat up on bad teams. That’s what good teams do.
Eflin needed 110 pitches to dispose of the Royals this time, 76 of them going for strikes. Perhaps the most astounding part was his 14 ground ball outs he recorded, using the old baseball adage of “use your defense” to the extreme. He was never threatened all night, not allowing an extra base hit until the ninth inning.
the offense took advantage of Brad Keller’s wildness as well. While Eflin had no issues working in the zone, Keller had trouble finding it. When he was there, the Phillies made him pay.
In the top of the 3rd, with the bases loaded, Rhys Hoskins singled, driving in two. Martin Maldonado got crossed up on a pitch, resulting in a passed ball and another run. In the fourth, the Phillies got a run on a force play with the bases loaded again, making the score 4-0. They would plate two more in the sixth and another in the ninth by getting some hits with men on base, something they’ve struggled with this season.
Eflin has been nothing short of brilliant this season. His breakout has made the rotation look a lot better overall and has saved them a lot of innings on the bullpen. If he can keep it up, a trip to Cleveland in July looks to be in order.