Saturday, June 17, 2017

Bullpen implodes in seventh; Phillies fall to Diamondbacks

Jerad Eickhoff remains winless for the Philadelphia Phillies
Jerad Eickhoff walked off the mound at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday night following the sixth inning drenched in sweat, having battled extremely humid conditions to throw a season high 105 pitches in arguably his best performance since late-April.

The Phillies bullpen, however, stumbled and the Diamondbacks scored four runs in the seventh en route to a 5-1 win. Edubray Ramos and Casey Fien combined to surrender all four runs on four hits and a walk, the highlight being a two-run double by Paul Goldschmidt off Fien.

"Eickhoff had better command of his fastball and he threw some real good curve balls, he located well," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "That's a good hitting team and to hold them to one run is pretty good, so that tells you he had to be locating."

Fourteen starts into the season, Eickhoff is the first Phillies since Matt Beech in 1997 to go this far into a season without recording a victory. Of note, however, is the fact Eickhoff hasn't benefited from solid offensive production - the Phillies are averaging just 2.70 runs a game when he's on the hill.

"A lot of it I can't control," Eickhoff said of his winless skid. "I'm sticking with my process of getting ahead, putting guys away, and getting outs. That's all I really care about. At the end of the day, if it's a loss it's a loss, if it's a win it's a win, but I'm just trying to keep us in the game the best way I can every time I come out. That's the bottom line."

Philadelphia's lone run came in the sixth as Maikel Franco reached on a walk, moved to third on a Michael Saunders double, and eventually scored on an Andrew Knapp sacrifice-fly to left. Saunders finished with a pair of hits. Tommy Joseph singled in the seventh, extending his career-long hitting streak to 13 games.

"It was a good game for six innings," Mackanin said.

The Phillies have lost 10 of their last 11 contests and have gone 1-13-2 in their last 16 series dating back to the beginning of May.

Ben Lively has the ball for the Phillies on Sunday in the series finale; he'll be opposed by left-hander Robbie Ray.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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