Phillies

Zach Eflin knocked out early again as Phillies blasted by Dodgers

Zach Eflin knocked out early again as Phillies blasted by Dodgers

BOX SCORE

LOS ANGELES — A day that began with the Phillies learning that they’d likely be without Rhys Hoskins for a while ended with them suffering a one-sided loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.

The Phillies were never in this one. The Dodgers hit Zach Eflin hard en route to an 8-2 win.

The Dodgers are hot. They have won 10 of their last 13, including two of three against the Phillies. The series concludes Thursday night with a good pitching matchup — Aaron Nola vs. Clayton Kershaw. The Phillies need a win to earn a series split before heading up the coast to San Francisco.

The Phillies’ bats did little against Dodgers starter Ross Stripling. The right-hander held the Phils to four hits and a run — a solo homer by Nick Williams — over seven innings.

Meanwhile, Eflin struggled from the outset. Despite striking out three batters in the first inning, he gave up a leadoff single to Joc Pederson and a two-out double to Matt Kemp as the Dodgers broke to a 1-0 lead.

Eflin had more problems in the third. He gave up a one-out homer to Max Muncy, walked the next batter and gave up a two-run homer to Kemp. The Dodgers scored again on Eflin in the fourth and he was done early.

It was an up-and-down month for Eflin. He came up from Triple A on May 1 and gave up just one run over 12 2/3 innings in his first two starts. Since then, he has made three starts and been tagged for 19 hits and 12 earned runs in 13 1/3 innings.

The Phillies are 30-23. They entered the game in third place in the NL East, just a game behind first-place Atlanta and a half game behind second-place Washington. Atlanta lost its game against the Mets while Washington defeated Baltimore. So the Nationals are now in first place in the division, a half game up on Atlanta and the Phillies are in third, 1½ games back.

Earlier Wednesday, it was learned that Hoskins had suffered a broken jaw when he fouled a ball off his face Monday night. He will be examined in Philadelphia on Thursday and a trip to the disabled list is a virtual certainty (see story).

Pedro Florimon went on the DL with a broken foot. Mitch Walding came up from Triple A to take Florimon’s spot. He struck out four times in his big-league debut. In all, Phillies hitters struck out 13 times.

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."

Subscribe and rate Phillies Talk:
Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Spotify / Stitcher / Art19 / YouTube

More on the Phillies

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.

Subscribe and rate Phillies Talk:
Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Spotify / Stitcher / Art19

More on the Phillies