There are some players that you wanted to believe in coming into the sim2020 season. Bryce Harper was one, J.T. Realmuto was another. These are the guys you can count on, even when we’re simulating what should be. They’ve got enormous 5-star rating and we’re pretty positive they’ll be good, even if their slow starts cause a momentary pause.
But in order to truly have a successful season, some of those OFP 45, 50, 55 guys gotta break out. They have to overperform in order for the Phillies to make the postseason, one of the stated goals of the year.
Zach Eflin is one of those guys. He’s only got a three-star rating, but you’d think he would be one that could be better than that. So far, he hasn’t.
Today was another example. Eflin was gifted a two run lead before even digging into the mound, thanks to an RBI double from Harper and an RBI single from Jay Bruce. While Eflin didn’t hand the lead back right away, he waited only one inning before allowing the Brewers to take the lead.
In the bottom of the second, Justin Smoak led off with a walk, then was sacrificed to second except whoops - Omar Narvaez beat out the throw. Tim Beckham struck out before Eric Sogard hit an infield single, loading the bases. That brought pitcher Adrian Houser to the plate, who proceeded to hit a dying quail single into left, bringing home Smoak and leaving the bases loaded.
Now if you’ve watched the Phillies over the years, you probably know that there isn’t going to be a happy ending to this inning. There is always a feeling of imminent doom that precedes these types of things, especially when the pitcher gets a hit. Well friends - your feelings are confirmed. Lorenzo Cain hit a dribbler up the line that Segura fielded and threw to first to get an out, but not before another run scored. Avisail Garcia then hit a two-run single before Keston Hiura grounded out, making the score 4-2.
The Phillies though, showing a little bit of fight, got solo, back-to-back home runs from Realmuto and Bruce in the third, tying things up. But Eflin was having none of that, allowing the Brewers to tie it on a two-run home run by Narvaez. He was allowed to face the pitcher to lead off the fourth, but was finished after that rather than being allowed to face the lineup a third time.
The Phillies did provide a little bit of fight. The Brewers got another run in the fourth off of Ranger Suarez and the score remained 7-4 into the seventh when the offense struck. Harper was hit by a pitch with one out, Realmuto following that with a walk. That brought up the only Phillie doing anything consistent on offense, Jay Bruce. He singled home Harper and sent Realmuto to second, making the score 7-5. Rhys Hoskins came up next and things for weird. Alex Claudio, the pitcher at the time, allowed a passed ball, moving the runners to second and third, then on the next pitch, committed a balk, scoring Realmuto and putting Bruce on third. Hoskins singled in Bruce and tied the game at 7. The momentum was clearly on the side of the Phillies.
Robert Stock had something to say about that. Stock, in relief of Adam Morgan, sandwiched a hit batter around a groundout and a strikeout, making it look like the inning would be over without incident. However, a single and walk loaded the bases, meaning Stock was done and in came.....Jose Alvarez.
Alvarez allowed the game winning hit to the next batter, making it 8-7. Luckily, Harper threw out Christian Yelich at home or else it would have been worse. The Brewers’ bullpen shut the door over the final two innings, giving Milwaukee the win.
It was a disappointing loss by the team, extending their losing streak to six in a row. They’ll hope to break that streak tomorrow with an afternoon tumult in Milwaukee.