Major League Baseball

Phillies, Padres trending in opposite directions

mlb8PADRES (56-65) AT PHILLIES (64-58)
7:05 p.m. ET; NBCSP, FSSD, MLB.TV

The Philadelphia Phillies (+1.5) will be searching for a season-high fifth straight win when they host the San Diego Padres (+0.5) on Saturday

Since Charlie Manuel replaced John Mallee as the Phillies’ hitting coach, the team is 4-0.

Bryce Harper also remains red hot with four home runs in his past three games. The right fielder hit a walk-off grand slam against the Chicago Cubs (-1.5) on Thursday, then launched a three-run shot Friday in Philadelphia’s 8-4 victory over San Diego.

It’s unclear if the Phillies will have first baseman Rhys Hoskins available on Saturday. Hoskins, who was hit in the hand by a pitch on Thursday, did not start of Friday, though he appeared as a defensive replacement.

“I told the doctor I have so much adrenaline right now,” Hoskins told reporters after Harper’s grand slam capped a six-run ninth inning and a 7-5 win Thursday. “I don’t feel a lot. I think it’ll be OK.”

Outfielder Roman Quinn homered Friday but left the game due to right groin tightness. Manager Gabe Kapler said that Quinn would be evaluated, leaving his availability for Saturday unclear.

Phillies right-hander Zach Eflin (7-11, 4.49 ERA) will take the mound Saturday, replacing Jake Arrieta in the rotation. Arrieta is out for the season with surgery likely to repair a bone spur in his right elbow.

Eflin scuffled through four starts in July, going 0-4 with a 12.64 ERA. He subsequently was demoted to the bullpen, and he didn’t like the move.

“It’s ultimately not my decision,” Eflin said. “If I don’t like it, I should pitch better. I hadn’t been really doing my job. Going to the bullpen is another opportunity for me. It’s a challenge. I’m a fan of challenges.”

In four relief outings, Eflin allowed just one run in 5 2/3 innings, earning another chance to start.

His task will be lightened significantly after the Padres learned Friday that Rookie of the Year candidate Fernando Tatis Jr. is “most likely done for the season,” according to manager Andy Green.

Tatis was placed on the injured list due to a stress reaction in his lower back. He is hitting .317 with 22 home runs, 53 RBIs and 16 stolen bases.

“It’s a tough blow,” Green said. “We’re going to take care of him. That’s the best care of action right now.”

Losing their star shortstop hurts in multiple ways.

“It’s tough,” San Diego first baseman Eric Hosmer said of Tatis. “He’s a big part of our team. He’s a great guy to have around. It’s a big blow for us. Everybody else has to step up substantially. He’s one of the best players in the game.”

San Diego will send Dinelson Lamet (1-2, 3.86 ERA) to the mound Saturday. Lamet, who returned from Tommy John surgery on July 4, has struck out 49 and walked 16 in 35 innings over seven starts.

In his latest start, he allowed three hits and two runs in five-plus innings during a no-decision against the Colorado Rockies (-2) on Sunday.

Lamet has faced the Phillies just once, when he gave up two runs on three hits in seven innings during a win in 2017.

Elfin yielded two runs on five hits in six innings during his lone appearance against the Padres, a loss in 2018.

The Padres, who are 11-20 since the All-Star break, have lost four of their past five games.

–Field Level Media

Leave a Reply