New-look Phillies tab Eickhoff for start against Newcomb, Braves

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Phillies (36-64) and RHP Jerad Eickhoff will take on rookie LHP Sean Newcomb and the Atlanta Braves (48-53) in the second of a four-game series Saturday evening at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phillies routed the Braves 10-3 in Friday's series opener behind five shutout innings from right-hander Jake Thompson. Thompson picked up his first win since Sept. 20, allowing just four singles, one double and two walks while punching out five. Left fielder Aaron Altherr homered twice — his 15th and 16th — in addition to catcher Cameron Rupp and first baseman Tommy Joseph going yard for their 10th and 16th dingers. Right-hander Joaquin Benoit recorded the final four outs to notch his second save as a Phillie and secure the victory.

Veteran right-hander Jeremy Hellickson was the slated Phillies starter on Friday, however he was a late scratch due to a reported "active talks." He was officially dealt later that evening to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for outfielder Hyun-Soo Kim and minor-league LHP Garrett Cleavinger. Infielder/outfielder Howie Kendrick was also dealt to the National League East division-leading Washington Nationals for minor-league LHP McKenzie Mills. International bonus pool money were also acquired in both trades.

The Phillies have outscored opponents 19-3 over their last two games on 24 hits — 10 singles, five doubles, two triples and seven home runs.

Starting Pitching Matchup:

Atlanta Braves (48-53) Philadelphia Phillies (36-64)
LHP Sean Newcomb RHP Jerad Eickhoff
(1-5, 4.81 ERA) (2-7, 4.71 ERA)

Newcomb Career vs. PHI: N/A

Newcomb, 24, will make his first start against the Phillies and his ninth career start overall. The southpaw started the first half of the Braves' June 10 doubleheader against the Mets for his major league debut and received the tough losing decision; he allowed just one unearned run on four hits, two walks and seven strikeouts.

The Braves acquired the Brockton, Massachusetts native from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Nov. 12, 2015, along with shortstop Erick Aybar, right-hander Chris Ellis and cash, in exchange for shortstop Andrelton Simmons and catcher Jose Briceno.

Newcomb has walked 12 batters over his last three starts (15 1/3 innings), including walking five batters in his most recent start, July 23 away against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Season Splits, By Month:

  • April: 0 GS
  • May: 0 GS
  • June: 4 GS, 1-2, 1.48 ERA, 24 1/3 IP, 21 SO, 8 BB, .202/.265/.292
  • July: 4 GS, 0-3, 9.16 ERA, 18 2/3 IP, 23 SO, 14 BB, .329/.441/.579


Eickhoff Career vs. ATL: 2-2, 2.00 ERA, 8 G, 8 GS, 45 IP, 31 H, 12 R, 10 ER, 4 HR, 10 BB, 35 SO, 0.911 WHIP

Eickhoff, 27, will look to extend his win streak to three games as he makes his ninth career start against the Braves. After starting the season 0-7 with a 4.93 ERA in 14 starts, the right-hander is 2-0 with a 3.71 ERA in his three starts since.

Saturday evening's outing will be Eickhoff's 30th appearance at Citizens Bank Park. Thus far at the venue, the right-hander is 9-10 with a 3.34 ERA, 164-to-49 strikeout-t0-walk ratio and a 1.211 WHIP through 175 innings.


Season Splits, By Month:

  • April: 5 GS, 0-2, 3.56 ERA, 30 1/3 IP, 28 SO, 11 BB, .235/.297/.383
  • May: 5 GS, 0-3, 6.08 ERA, 26 2/3 IP, 23 SO, 8 BB, .325/.371/.491
  • June: 4 GS, 0-2, 5.49 ERA, 19 2/3 IP, 14 SO, 11 BB, .291/.370/.468
  • July: 2 GS, 1-0, 4.09 ERA, 11 IP, 16 SO, 5 BB, .256/.347/.488

Starting Lineups:

Atlanta Braves (48-53) Philadelphia Phillies (36-64)
  Position Player Bats   Position Player Bats
1 CF Ender Inciarte L 1 2B Cesar Hernandez S
2 2B Brandon Phillips R 2 RF Aaron Altherr R
3 3B Freddie Freeman L 3 LF Nick Williams L
4 C Tyler Flowers R 4 1B Tommy Joseph R
5 1B Matt Adams L 5 3B Maikel Franco R
6 RF Nick Markakis L 6 CF Odubel Herrera L
7 LF Sean Rodriguez R 7 SS Freddy Galvis S
8 SS Johan Camargo  S 8 C Cameron Rupp R
9 P Sean Newcomb L 9 P Jerad Eickhoff R

Broadcast Information:

  • First pitch: 7:05 p.m.
  • TV: NBC 10
  • Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP

Game Notes:

  • The Phillies are 4-0 against the Braves at home this season, outscoring and outhitting them 23-11 and 42-29, respectively.
  • Altherr is in the midst of a six-game hit streak, batting .550/.625/1.250 with seven runs, 11 hits, three home runs, three walks and five RBIs. Braves catcher Tyler Flowers has also hit safely in six straight, batting .364/.440/.727 with a pair of home runs and five RBIs.
  • Newcomb was the No. 3-ranked Braves prospect by last season, trailing only shortstop Dansby Swanson and middle infielder Ozzie Albies. After 324 at-bats with the big league club this season, Swanson was optioned down to Triple-A Gwinnett on July 26 after hitting just .213/.287/.312 with six home runs and 35 RBIs.

What's Next:

  • Sunday, July 30, 2017: vs. Atlanta Braves, 1:35 p.m.
    • Citizens Bank Park
    • RHP R.A. Dickey (6-7, 4.31 ERA) vs. RHP Vince Velasquez (2-6, 5.49 ERA)
    • TV: CSN; Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP