Eflin and Harper keep playoff hopes alive as the Phillies beat the Nationals 12-3
We’re alive. The Phillies are 28-29 and find themselves in 3rd place in the NL East with 3 games to play. They are a half-game behind Miami for 2nd place in the division, which would earn them an automatic trip to the postseason.
Zach Eflin quote “stopped throwing his curveball like a baby” and dominated this game on the mound for the Phillies. He finished the night throwing 8 strong innings, allowing only 6 hits, 3 earned runs, and striking out 9.
Bryce Harper, injured back and all, hit 2 home runs off Nationals’ pitcher Erick Fedde. Harper was walked intentionally in his other 3 plate appearances. Pretty odd statistic: Harper became the 4th player in MLB history with 2 home runs and 3 walks in a game.
The Phillies offense finally woke up and piled on the Nationals with 14 hits and 12 runs in a 12-3 route.
Andrew McCutchen went 3-5 from the plate with two doubles, a home run, and an RBI. Didi Gregorius went 2-5 with a home run and 3 RBIs. Jimmy Cigs was 2-5 with 2 RBI. Andrew Knapp gave the Phillies all the insurance runs they would need with a 3-run home run in the top of the 9th inning.
The Phillies have a much needed day-off before opening up the final series of the 2020 regular season against the AL East leading Tampa Bay Rays.
Last night, the Cardinals, Brewers, and Marlins all lost. The Giants however, did win against the Rockies late last night. With the Giants win, they currently have a one-game lead over the Phillies for the 8th and final seed in the playoffs.
The Wild Card is still on the table but it’s crowded down there. The Marlins are a half-game ahead of the Phillies in the NL East. The fins have lost 4 games in a row and still have one more in Atlanta tomorrow before they will open up their final series in New York against the Yankees. Miami does own the tiebreaker for the second-place qualifier in the division.
Vincent Velasquez, Zack Wheeler, and Aaron Nola are all scheduled to pitch against the Rays this weekend. The Rays beat Mets 8-5 and clinched 1st AL East title in 10 years. They will have the day off tomorrow. Charlie Morton (2-2, 4.64 ERA) is scheduled to get his postseason tuneup on Friday vs Vincent Velasquez.
Assuming the Phillies need all 3 games to secure a playoff birth, Eflin will be needed to start the playoffs for the Phillies since Wheeler and Nola will have pitched over the weekend.
Zach Eflin, who’s riding the wave of two fantastic starts said if he is needed to pitch out of the bullpen this weekend, he is available. “I want the ball,” Eflin said. “I’m going to be available in any way I can.”
And if the Phillies do what they believe they can do, they will have Eflin on the mound in Game 1 next week.
We’re alive. Enjoy the day off. This weekend is going to be insane.
Ring that bell, baby.
Mandatory Credit: The Philadelphia Phillies