Phillies 4, Marlins 0: Jerad Eickhoff pitches a gem, offense delivers 3 homers

Phillies 4, Marlins 0: Jerad Eickhoff pitches a gem, offense delivers 3 homers


Jerad Eickhoff spun a beauty and the Phillies’ offense came alive for three home runs in a 4-0 win over the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night.

Eickhoff, back in the Phils’ starting rotation after two injury-plagued seasons, pitched seven shutout innings for his first win since Aug. 25, 2017.

The Phillies were held to just four hits in a 10-inning loss to the Marlins on Thursday night.

They had just four through the first eight innings in this game, but two of them were solo homers by J.T. Realmuto and Maikel Franco.

Bryce Harper smacked the Phillies’ fifth hit of the night with one out in the ninth and it was a two-run homer.

The Phils are 14-12.

Miami is 8-18.

The keys

• Eickhoff’s signature curveball was outstanding.

• Relievers Edubray Ramos, Adam Morgan and Pat Neshek got six outs in a close game to nail down the win.

• All of the Phillies’ offense came on long balls, two solo homers and a two-run shot. Harper had one hit in his previous 18 at-bats before his homer.

More on Eickhoff

He did not allow a hit until the fifth inning and gave up just two over his seven innings of work. He threw an economical 86 pitches. He walked one and struck out six. The right-hander’s fastball topped out at just 91 mph, but he was able to use his breaking ball effectively against a Marlins club that struggles against off-speed stuff. Five of Eickhoff’s six strikeouts came on curveballs. He got nine swinging strikes on breaking balls — five on his slider, four on his curveball (see story). In two starts since coming up from Triple A, Eickhoff has allowed just four runs in 13 innings. He has 14 strikeouts.

A potential boost

With only six hits Friday night, the Phillies are hitting just .220 over their last 10 games.

Shortstop Jean Segura, one of the Phillies’ best hitters, could return to the lineup on Saturday. Details here.

Up next

The series continues on Saturday night. Jake Arrieta (3-2, 2.65) will pitch against Miami right-hander Trevor Richards (0-3, 3.72). First pitch is 6:05 p.m.

The Phils are 3-2 against the Marlins this season.

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Joe Girardi doesn't see penalty for Astros players as a deterrent

Joe Girardi doesn't see penalty for Astros players as a deterrent

The calls for Astros players to get suspended have gotten louder and louder as players have descended upon Florida and Arizona for spring training this past week. From Cody Bellinger to Mike Trout to Trevor Bauer to Nick Markakis and everywhere in between, players have made clear how angry they are about Houston's cheating scandal. 

It's going to take a long time for Astros players to gain back the respect of their peers.

It's not some easy fix, though. Astros players were granted immunity from discipline in order for their cooperation in MLB's investigation. MLB cannot, after the fact, revoke that immunity and decide to suspend players knowing what it now knows. That would never fly, and it shouldn't. Whether immunity should have been granted in the first place is the big question, but that point has passed.

Joe Girardi was asked on ESPN's Golic and Wingo Show Wednesday whether he thought MLB's punishment was sufficient.

The Phillies' first-year skipper doesn't think the current punishment serves as much of a deterrent.

"There are some people that lost their jobs that really were the people that had to pay for it, but there were a lot more people involved," Girardi said. "The financial gain for the players is substantial if they have big seasons because of this, so if there's no punishment for them, I'm not sure that it stops. I'm really not sure. Because the financial gain, similar to the steroid era, is very similar. If you know it's coming and you have a big year and you're a free agent, there's a lot (of money) to be made there and players want to take care of their families.

"I'm not exactly sure what the right answer is, but I don't know how much of a deterrent it is for players right now. There's not a huge deterrent for the players and I think there has to be to make sure that it stops."

People made fun of commissioner Rob Manfred for saying this but it should be acknowledged that the public ridicule the Astros are feeling right now will actually serve as some sort of deterrent. That doesn't mean MLB made the right call, that their decision-making process has been sound or that Manfred has done himself any favors publicly. But the disrespect factor around the league and around the country is real. Guys like Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, George Springer, even a Justin Verlander — will they ever again command the respect they did before this? This is a permanent stain.

MLB recognized how difficult an investigation would have been without cooperation from key figures and went the route of immunity. It's a decision that will be questioned for years.

"If you're not in the clubhouse and you don't admit yourself that you did it, how do you take the word from another player that he was doing it? That's the hard part," Girardi said. "Like, if you get caught with something on your body, that to me definitely should be a suspension and a huge fine. But to say that someone was using it, it's his word against his word, that's pretty tough to penalize a player."

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A small step in Phillies camp for pitching prospect Spencer Howard

A small step in Phillies camp for pitching prospect Spencer Howard

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Spencer Howard, the Phillies' top pitching prospect, returned to a bullpen mound Wednesday and threw 27 pitches.

Ordinarily, a bullpen session in spring training is not news, but Howard had temporarily stopped his bullpen work after sustaining a minor knee injury — manager Joe Girardi called it a "tweak" — 10 days earlier.

Howard threw all of his pitches during the bullpen session as a gaggle of fans watched at Carpenter Complex.

"I only saw two pitches," said Girardi, who was busy bouncing around four fields. "But he felt great. That's the important thing."

Girardi said there was no timetable for when Howard would pitch in a Grapefruit League game. The Phillies are on record as saying they will take things slowly with Howard in the early part of the season. The 23-year-old right-hander is on an innings/workload limit this season and the Phillies would like to get a good chunk of those innings in the big leagues.

"Spencer has an innings limit so we have to think about this because we believe at some point he's going to play a role for us," Girardi said earlier in camp. "We can't go wear him out by June so we have to think about that. We're not going to waste a lot of innings in spring training."

It's possible that the Phillies could hold Howard back in extended spring training in the month of April so they can maximize his innings later in the season.

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