As whispers grew around his spot in the rotation and whether the team would need to buy a shortstop AND a starting pitcher this year on the trade market, Zach Eflin put those whispers to bed, if only for today.
This game was actually remarkable boring.
There were only two extra base hits in the entire game, both by the Phillies in the seventh inning. Eflin and Rick Porcello dueled each other through six frames, Eflin giving up only four hits during that time, Porcello five. The Phillies did threaten in the bottom of the fifth when they loaded the bases with two outs thanks to singles from Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins and Scott Kingery. However, when Adam Haseley stepped to the plate to deliver, he feebly popped up and ended the inning.
The real action came in the seventh when Logan Forsythe, for now the regular second baseman with Kingery headed to shortstop, led off the inning against Porcello with a ringing double to left. That meant that Joe Girardi had a decision to make regarding Eflin, something he made rather easily by pinch hitting for him with Neil Walker. Walker rewarded this decision with a pinch hit two-run home run that untied the pitcher’s duel and gave the Phillies the lead.
From there, the bullpen took over. Quite reliable lately, they dissected the Mets’ lineup for the next two innings and eventually handed it off to Hector Neris who earned his ninth save of the year and the Phillies the win.
Recaps like this one are easy to write when not much happens. It makes it even easier to write when they win.
The Phillies look to complete the sweep tomorrow night with Vince Velasquez taking the hill.