Four Storylines From Phillies Weekend Sweep of the Braves

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Apr 23, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis (left) and first baseman Brock Stassi (right) talk between innings against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 23, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis (left) and first baseman Brock Stassi (right) talk between innings against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Apr 23, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zach Eflin (56) pitches during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Zach Eflin is Back and Looks Great

Zach Eflin started 2017 on the disabled list as he continued to nurse his surgically repaired knees back to full health. After returning from the DL, Eflin has looked strong.

Eflin went five shutout innings in his lone start at Triple-A before he was promoted to replace Clay Buchholz in the rotation. In his first 2017 start in the majors, he threw five innings again, giving up two runs on just three hits.

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Eflin’s start Sunday against the Braves was his best of the year and one of the best of his major-league career. He went seven innings, giving up just three hits and no walks with three strikeouts. Atlanta’s lone run off Eflin came on a solo home run from Matt Kemp.

One important stat from Sunday to note was Eflin’s efficiency. As Corey Seidman of CSN Philly pointed out, Eflin needed two or fewer pitches to get eight of his 21 outs.

With other pitchers in the rotation struggling to last deep into outings – see Velasquez, Vince – and a fickle bullpen, a starter that can last deeper into games is extremely valuable in this rotation.

With Aaron Nola now on the disabled list, Eflin has an even bigger opportunity to find a spot in the major-league rotation. The Phillies need consistent starting pitching if they are going to win at all this season, and Eflin has been that so far this year.

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