Phillies have their own Ross Stripling
Zach Eflin is probably unknown to most Dodger fans but for the Phillies, he’s been as much a reason for the Phillies being in 1st place as Ross Stripling is for the Dodgers. Zach was actually a Dodger for about one day. The Dodgers acquired him on Dec 18th, 2014 in the Matt Kemp / Yazmani Grandal trade but flipped him the next day to the Phillies for Jimmy Rollins. So much for the Dodgers not trading prospects.
Until 2018, Zach had an uninspiring major league career but in 2018 he has been the Phillies second best starter on an above average rotation. After posting an ERA above 5.00 in both 2016 and 2017 in limited starts his ERA in 2018 sits at 3.15 in twelve starts. All of his metrics have improved across the board and Jeff Sullivan took a look at why he has improved back in June.
Eflin’s strikeout rate is up 11.3 points, which is the second-greatest increase, behind only Gerrit Cole. Cole has gone from good to dominant. Eflin has gone from mediocre to good. Not every breakout has to involve a guy becoming an ace. Eflin is just looking like a major-league starting pitcher. Not bad, for someone originally thought to just be holding a spot for Ben Lively or Jerad Eickhoff.
Ross and Zach face off tonight and unlike where they were at the start of 2018, they enter this contest as very important cogs for both teams who have aspirations for the World Series.
The second half has started off with Manny Machado showing off to the teams who were beat out for his services by the Dodgers. Manny showed the Brewers what they missed out, here is hoping he does the same to the Phillies.
Justin Turner in on the DL and Max Muncy had a very touch defensive series playing 3rd base this past weekend. Will the Dodgers move Manny back to 3rd and put Taylor at SS or simply keep Muncy at 3rd base? I’d be betting on Muncy playing 3rd base but we shall see.