Five things we learned from Phillies sweep of the Giants

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 09: Maikel Franco #7 of the Philadelphia Phillies bumps forearms with third base coach Dusty Wathan #62 after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning during a game against the San Francisco Giants at Citizens Bank Park on May 9, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 11-3. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 09: Maikel Franco #7 of the Philadelphia Phillies bumps forearms with third base coach Dusty Wathan #62 after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning during a game against the San Francisco Giants at Citizens Bank Park on May 9, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 11-3. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /
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PHILADELPHIA, PA – MAY 07: Zach Eflin #56 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch in the sixth inning during a game against the San Francisco Giants at Citizens Bank Park on May 7, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 11-0. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /

Zach Eflin’s first start wasn’t a fluke

Zach Eflin’s 2018 debut certainly turned some heads. He pitched five perfect innings against the Marlins before allowing one run on a solo home run in the sixth. Overall, he gave up just three hits and issued no walks, striking out four. It was a tremendous start, but certainly not enough to change the narrative around Eflin.

More from That Balls Outta Here

Eflin then went out against the Giants and looked even better. He blew away his previous career high for strikeouts with nine, going 6.2 shutout innings. It was his best game score v2 in any start since his two complete games in July 2016.

After his two starts this year, Eflin now has a 0.71 ERA, 2.85 fielding-independent pitching, 27.7 percent strikeout rate and 6.4 percent walk rate. Eflin is generating more swinging strikes and less contact overall with his pitches, which is important for a pitcher without any overpowering stuff.

Eflin has been able to string some good starts together before everything blows up in the past.

He at least showed in this series he can still do that. Now it remains to be seen if he can continue to.

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