Phillies vs. Rockies: Odubel Herrera, Zach Eflin lead Phils’ win

Phillies vs. Rockies: Odubel Herrera, Zach Eflin lead Phils’ win

This was what you would call a complete victory.

The Phillies pitched well Tuesday night.

They hit well. 

And, yes, they fielded well.

The result was a 10-3 win over the sloppy Colorado Rockies at Citizens Bank Park.

Are the slow-starting Phillies beginning to heat up?

You be the judge.

They have beaten the Rockies two nights in a row, pounding out 20 hits and scoring 18 runs.

Seven of the Phillies’ hits these last two nights have been for extra bases. Maybe manager Joe Girardi was right when he predicted after Monday night’s game, “I think a lot of these guys are really going to start to heat up. I really believe that in my heart and we’ll see some bigger outputs from the offense for sure.”

Odubel Herrera had two of the Phillies’ extra-base hits Tuesday night, an RBI double and a two-run homer.

“When your nine-hole hitter is hitting doubles in the gap and hitting homers, it’s a good night,” said Bryce Harper, who had a single and a double. “I thought we looked really good all the way through.” 

There was more than just offense to this Phillies win. Zach Eflin pitched six innings of two-hit ball, surrendering just a second-inning single and a sixth-inning solo homer to Charlie Blackmon, who had two of them on the night, the 13th and 14th of his career against the Phillies.

Eflin struck out three and walked one. He has gone 28 straight starts, dating to August 2020, without walking more than two batters.

 

Eflin recorded his 500th career strikeout in the second inning but knew nothing of the milestone. In fact, he didn’t want to throw the ball to the dugout and only did so when catcher J.T. Realmuto insisted on it.

“I was pissed,” Eflin said with a laugh afterward. “They were telling me to throw the ball out, but I had no idea. I didn’t want to throw it out because I really liked that ball.”

Eflin didn’t know he’d reached 500 K’s until he appeared on the postgame radio show.

“It’s pretty cool,” he said.

Eflin was more enthused about making his fourth start of the new season before the end of April than he was the souvenir ball in his locker. He had right knee surgery in September and early estimates had him out until May.

“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t rewarding,” he said. “I put a huge amount of work into it in the offseason.”

Defense, hardly the Phillies’ strength, also played a huge role in the win. Nick Castellanos, starting in right field in place of Harper, who remains unable to play defense because of an elbow strain, made a terrific leaping catch at the wall to take extra bases away from Dom Nunez in the third inning, and resurgent Alec Bohm continued his impressive rebound from a three-error game on April 11 with a strong game at third base.

“He’s playing with confidence,” Girardi said of Bohm. “He’s been outstanding. I’m proud of how he’s handled it. He could have gone a lot of different directions after that day but he’s gone in the right direction and it’s really important for his career and us.”

The defense that helped the Phillies most was the shoddy brand of glovework turned in by the Rockies for the second night in a row.

One night after making three errors, the Rockies made two more. Seven of the Phillies’ runs so far in this series have been unearned.

The Phillies benefited from two Colorado errors and a wild pitch from German Marquez in scoring three times in the second inning. The Phils actually pushed across two runs on the wild pitch.

“Errors, wild pitches and heads-up baserunning,” Girardi said. “We took advantage of it and got the lead, then we tacked on (runs), which is important.

The Phils scored four more times in the fourth inning on hits by Bohm, Herrera, Jean Segura and Rhys Hoskins, and three more times in the sixth, two coming on Herrera’s homer.

The victory left the Phillies at 8-10 heading into the third game of the four-game series Wednesday night. Ranger Suarez will get the ball for the Phillies and look to continue an excellent run of starting pitching by the club. Over the last three nights, Aaron Nola, Kyle Gibson and Eflin have combined to allow just three runs in 18 2/3 innings.

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