The Philadelphia Phillies were playing like a determined team against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park last night. They rode a 5-run 4th inning to victory against the Braves. Atlanta got started early in the bottom of the 1st. They tacked on 2 runs against Vince Velasquez, but were quiet following a couple of RBI’s by Josh Donaldson and Matt Joyce.
Velasquez was able to settle in and didn’t allow another run in his time on the mound. He went 5 strong innings with 2 earned runs allowed for a productive evening at the office. The Braves aren’t an easy lineup to slow down, though Velasquez was able to following a shaky 1st inning.
While the Phillies need a lot of wins down the stretch, they haven’t been playing solid baseball of late. That was only their second win since September 11th. The Phillies are 2-3 in their previous five games. If this were the middle of the summer, a 2-3 stretch wouldn’t sound so bad, but the Phillies cannot afford to get stuck in five-game windows below .500. There just aren’t enough games left to overcome the hole that they find themselves in at the moment.
If the Phillies miss out on the postseason, which looks incredibly likely, they are going to sit in the offseason and wonder what the heck just happened? We signed the most highly sought-after slugger in the majors, adding him to an already decent team and we didn’t improve. Results are going to have to follow 2020 or heads are going to be rolling in Philadelphia.
There isn’t going to be time for any long droughts for Bryce Harper. He is going to get dealt even more criticism than this season if that’s the case. In any event, it was a good win for the Phils last night. They really needed it and need tonight as well. Zach Eflin is scheduled to get the starting nod, while Julio Teheran is expected for the Braves. Head below for our free Phillies vs. Braves pick.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves Pick:
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Things got close for the Phillies last night. Hector Neris turned on the sweat for Phillies’ fans, as the Braves scored a run and then put a runner on 1st and 3rd with only 1 out. Neris was able to get out of the jam, though, and the Phillies recorded a 5-4 win.
Big win but they are still more than a few wins away from getting into the postseason. The on fire switch is going to have to get turned on now. Zach Eflin will be tasked with notching consecutive wins for the Phillies this evening. After struggling horribly early in the season, Eflin has seemed to figure it out now.
Eflin enters with an ERA of 4.20 and 1.34 WHIP. His best work has come recently, where he has posted an ERA of 1.72 and 1.02 WHIP in his previous three tilts. Since Eflin was demoted to the bullpen, he’s been pitching incredibly well and the best we’ve seen him this season. He returned to the starting rotation on August 17th and hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs in five straight outings.
His most recent appearance was an impressive over the same team he’s facing tonight. Eflin held the Braves to no runs across 3.2 innings. He did get himself into trouble, though. It wasn’t a perfect game, as Eflin allowed 3 hits and 3 walks to finish with 25.9 pitches per inning. Any longer in the game and Eflin may have suffered some damage.
The Braves have had success against Eflin in the past, as they are hitting .323 with a .396 OBP in 99 at-bats. The power numbers have been excellent as well, with 10 home runs and 28 runs scored against Eflin. After he escaped damage last week, expect the Braves to get to Eflin in this one.
Julio Teheran is on the heels of a spotty performance against the Phillies in Philadelphia. He was tagged for 5 earned runs in a 9-5 loss. Teheran will be back at home where he’s been much better in 2019. The road hasn’t been great for him, as he has posted a 4.07 ERA as opposed to a 2.89 ERA at home. Prior to that outing against the Phillies, Teheran yielded 3 or fewer runs in 12 out of 13 starts. Look for the Braves to respond after getting handed a loss on Tuesday night.