Wheeler, Eflin, and a big opportunity for the Phillies in Tampa
The Phillies are in Tampa for their second stop on a nine game road trip after playing four games in Miami against the Marlins. The Phillies split the series with the Marlins and are currently 25-26 on the season, tied with the Braves for second place in the NL East and 2.5 games behind the New York Mets in first.
This weekend, they will take on the Rays, a team that leads in the AL East and has won 13 out of their last 14 games. Zack Wheeler will be on the mound today for the Phillies against Ryan Yarbrough. He has been absolutely dominant for the Phillies.
Wheeler continued his dominant start to 2021 last Sunday against the Boston Red Sox. He struck out 12 batters in 7 1/3 innings, allowing just one run in a 6-2 win for the Phillies. Wheeler is now 4-2 with a 2.38 ERA and is the first Phillies pitcher since Roy Halladay with a sub-2.50 ERA and sub-1.00 WHIP in his first 10 starts of the season.
As for Ryan Yarbrough, in his last two starts he’s allowed nine runs and six home runs in 12 innings of work. The Rays offense hasn’t be great this season and they rely mostly on pitching, defense, and late game heroics to win ball games. Winning two games in Tampa would be huge for a Phillies team that has hovered around the .500 mark since the start of the season. The Phillies have a great opportunity starting today with Wheeler and tomorrow with Zach Eflin.
Eflin is 2-4 with a 3.84 ERA in 10 games this season. He has 63 strikeouts in 63.1 innings with a 1.17 WHIP. Eflin has pitched past the sixth inning in every start this season and four or more runs in three of them. The Phillies however, have lost three straight starts from Eflin and four of the last five despite good outings from their number three starter.
Rhys Hoskins is on fire
Rhys Hoskins is riding a seven game hit streak, slashing .360/.468/.600 over the last 15 games with 18 hits, three home runs, and 12 RBI. The Phillies desperately needed someone to step up and Hoskins continues to deliver while the rest of the core sits in the dugout on the injury list.
Phillies Injury Report
Bryce Harper (wrist/forearm) did not travel with the team and will be out until at least Tuesday. Didi Gregorius is with the Phillies but will likely miss more time and undergo a rehab assignment before returning to the lineup. JT Realmuto is the closest Phillies play to returning but it’s unclear whether or not he will be back with the Phillies over the weekend. Joe Girardi did state on Thursday that Realmuto had a good day and is moving in the right direction.
The Rest of the NL East
The Braves will be at Citi Field to face the New York Mets. Last night’s game was rained out. Atlanta will then play the Nationals and Dodgers before coming to Citizens Bank Park June 8-10th. The Mets will head west to face Arizona and San Diego. The Marlins are in Boston to play the Red Sox and the Nationals host the Brewers.
First pitch today is at 1:05pm. Throw on the Phillies, grab a drink, and let them kick off the day with a win, heading straight into Game Three of the Sixers-Wizards first round playoff series tonight at 7pm.
Today’s Lineup (Updated 10:19AM)