The resurgence of Bryce Harper was on display again last night, as he blasted another critical home run out of the park. With the Padres pulling within 2 in what was a 5-0 game, Harper put the game out of reach with a 3-run shot into the seats.
The Padres tacked on a late run to make it an 8-4 game, though that was all for a comeback bid from them. It was a big win for the Phillies after sweeping the Cubs in three games. There was some concern that the Phillies could have a hangover, but that was quickly put to rest on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park.
They look determined to reach the postseason and have done themselves some favors in that regard recently. The Brewers, Mets, and Cubs all lost, so that helps them out in the NL wildcard race. Catching the Braves looks next to impossible in a 7-game hole in the NL East.
However, keep playing like this and winning the Wild Card Game looks like a real possibility. The run has been spurred by a hot run by Bryce Harper at the plate. It was no secret that the Phillies needed him to get going for the Phillies to have a shot.
Along with Harper swinging the bat better, the Philadelphia bullpen will have to continue producing down the stretch as well. There are a lot of teams who are on pins and needles when they take a slim lead in the 8th and 9th innings of games. The Phillies recently acquired Jared Hughes off waivers to help their bullpen a bit. With all of the injuries that the relievers have endured for the Phillies, they’ve been looking to add a new arm with Zach Eflin being inserted back into the starting rotation.
Eflin will get the nod tonight for his first start since July 27th against the Braves. He was getting punished on the bump and was demoted to the bullpen after that effort. Eflin was pitching well in the bullpen, but they need him to pitch well in the rotation. The Padres will counter with sophomore Dinelson Lamet as their starting hurler Saturday night. Head below for our free Padres vs. Phillies pick.
San Diego Padres vs. Philadelphia Phillies Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
The Phillies were left with a couple of options with Zach Eflin. Either send him down to the minors and figure it out or off to the bullpen. They went with option B and it seemed to payoff. The Phillies’ bullpen needed depth, so it made sense to allow Eflin to throw out of the bullpen. In 5.2 innings as a reliever, in his four most recent appearances, Eflin was solid having allowed only 3 hits and 1-run during that stretch. This was after he was getting drilled in a starting role.
Prior to getting demoted to the bullpen, Eflin was hit for a 11.37 ERA and 2.05 WHIP in three starts leading up to his stay in the pen. He had allowed 19 earned runs in 15.2 innings of play before trying out as a reliever. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Padres frustrating Eflin in his return to the starting rotation. Having said that, with the Phillies swinging a hot bat, Eflin is likely going to get plenty of run support on Saturday.
The Phillies have scored 26 runs in their last three games. Bryce Harper combined for 10 RBI’s in those three games. Dating back to August 9th, Harper has 16 RBI’s since that point. Lamet has certainly played well in seven outings, as he enters with a 3.86 ERA in his second season as a major leaguer.
This looks like a tricky matchup against the red-hot Phillies, though. Philadelphia are destroying the ball and there haven’t been any indications that they’re slowing down. The final score should get into the double digits, so the OVER looks like it’s worth a look.