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Eflin struggles as Phillies fall to Dodgers

By: Rebecca Serad, Sports Talk Philly Staff 

Final: Los Angeles Dodgers 8, Philadelphia Phillies 2  ❖  Attendance: 43,302

LOS ANGELES, Ca. — The Philadelphia Phillies (30-23) didn't pitch or hit well against the Los Angeles Dodgers (26-29) in tonight's game. Starter Zach Eflin labored through four innings. The righty allowed five runs on seven hits, including two home-runs. While he may have struck out five batters and only walked one, it was clear that Eflin was having difficulty with his command. Relievers Victor Arano and Drew Hutchison threw two innings apiece and each allowed at least one run and at least two hits. This was Hutchison's first appearance in almost two weeks, which could explain some of his difficulties. However, this does not excuse them.

The offense, or the lack thereof, is a big reason why the Phillies lost the game. The team combined for 13 strikeouts in the game, including four by Mitch Walding in his rather disappointing Major League debut. Walding is the first player to go 0-4 with four strikeouts in his debut in franchise history and only the eleventh player in MLB history to do so. On a positive note, Carlos Santana and Nick Williams both continued to be bright spots for the struggling offense. Santana collected two hits and his hot month of May has boosted his average up to .221, which is a significant improvement. Williams homered in his second straight game.

WP: Ross Stripling (3-1, 1.68 ERA)  ❖  LP: Zach Eflin (1-2, 4.50 ERA)


Hub:   Game Summary      Starting Pitchers     At the Plate      Bullpen      What's Next

Game Summary

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
PHI 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2 8 1
LAD
1 0 3 1 2 0 0 1 X 8 13 0

The Dodgers came out swinging in tonight's ballgame. Joc Pederson led off the bottom of the first with a single to right field. Two outs later, Matt Kemp doubled down the left field line to score Pederson and give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Cody Bellinger struck out for the final out of the inning, leaving Kemp stranded at second.

The Dodgers added on in the third. With two outs, Max Muncy homered to dead center field. After Yasmani Grandal walked, Kemp hit a home-run to left to make it a 4-0 game. Bellinger followed with a single and then stole second base during the at-bat of Chris Taylor. However, Taylor struck out to end the inning and Bellinger was left at second base.

The Dodgers increased their lead in the fourth inning. Third baseman Breyvic Valera and second baseman Logan Forsythe led off the frame with back-to-back singles. Ross Stripling attempted to move the runners over to second and third base with a sacrifice bunt, but a fielding error by Phils catcher Jorge Alfaro allowed the Dodgers pitcher to reach base. The bases were loaded with no outs for Pederson. He hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Valera from third and allow Forsythe to advance to third. Fortunately, that was the only run that Phils starter Zach Eflin would allow in the inning, as he retired Muncy and Grandal on a lineout and strikeout, respectively, to end the inning.

The Dodgers tacked on two more runs in the fifth. With one out, Bellinger singled to right field. Taylor followed with a double to left field, scoring Bellinger and giving the Dodgers a 6-0 lead. Taylor moved up to third base on a fly out to right field by Valera. Forsythe was intentionally walked to get to the pitcher. Stripling promptly singled to center field to score Taylor. Pederson grounded out for the final out of the frame.

The Phillies got one back in the top of the seventh. Nick Williams, playing left field in place of the injured Rhys Hoskins, led off the inning with a home-run to center field. Two outs later, Alfaro doubled to right field. However, he wasn't given a chance to score, as pinch-hitter Maikel Franco was retired on a groundout for the final out.

The Dodgers got another run in the eighth. Pinch-hitter Kike Hernandez got it started with a single to second base. He moved up to second on a wild pitch to Pederson by Phils reliever Drew Hutchison. Pederson reached base on an infield single to shortstop and Hernandez moved up to third base. One out later, Grandal walked to load the bases for Kemp. He hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Hernandez and make it a 8-1 ballgame. Pederson advanced to third base on the play. Bellinger walked to load the bases yet again, but this time, Hutchison was able to get that elusive final out.

The Phils attempted to make a comeback in their last at-bat. With two outs, Alfaro was hit by a pitch by the switch-pitcher Pat Venditte. Pinch-hitter Andrew Knapp followed with a single to center field, on which Alfaro advanced from first to third. During the at-bat of Cesar Hernandez, Knapp moved up to second base on defensive indifference. Hernandez hit an infield single that was deflected by Forsythe near second base. Alfaro scored and Knapp moved up a base. During Odubel Herrera's at-bat, Hernandez advanced to second on defensive indifference. However, Herrera struck out to end the game. It was ultimately a case of too little, too late.

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Starting Pitchers

  IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Zach Eflin 4.0 7 5 5 1 5 2 4.50
Ross Stripling 7.0 4 1 1 2 9 1 1.68

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At the Plate

Phillies

  • Nick Williams: 1-4, R, HR, RBI, .229 AVG
  • Jorge Alfaro: 1-3, R, 2B, .256 AVG
  • Carlos Santana: 2-4, .221 AVG

Dodgers

  • Matt Kemp: 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, .345 AVG
  • Joc Pederson: 2-4, R, RBI, .254 AVG
  • Max Muncy: 1-5, R, HR, RBI, .253 AVG

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Bullpen

Phillies

  • Victor Arano (5th, 6th): 2.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR, 2.08 ERA
  • Drew Hutchison (7th, 8th): 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO, 0 HR, 4.64 ERA

Dodgers

  • Yimi Garcia (8th): 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR, 4.70 ERA
  • Pat Venditte (9th): 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR, 7.36 ERA

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What's Next

  • Thursday, May 31, 2018: at Los Angeles Dodgers, 7:35 p.m.
    • Los Angeles - Dodger Stadium
    • RHP Aaron Nola (6-2, 2.27 ERA) vs. LHP Clayton Kershaw (1-4, 2.86 ERA)
    • TV: NBCSP, MLBN (out-of-market only)Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP, WSAN AM 1470, WTTM 1680

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