Miami Next Stop
PNC Park is a beautiful ballpark in a beautiful setting but for the Phillies it is a dreaded place.
Zach Eflin was brilliant on Friday night, a walk-free, complete-game shutout. Last Phillies pitcher with that kind of performance within his first eight major league games was Art Mahaffey in 1960. Last Phillies rookie with a nine-inning shutout, J. A. Happ in 2009. Zach certainly has rebounded well from his drubbing in Toronto on June 14.
A chance to win consecutive games and win a series in PNC Park for only the second time went down the drain as the Pirates won the next two even though the Phillies out-hit the winners in both games. Phillies left a total of 20 runners on base in those losses dropping them to 17-33 in the dreaded place that opened in 2001.
In each game, the Phillies lost a starting player because of injuries, Maikel Franco (HBP) Cameron Rupp (HBP) and Andres Blanco (fractured left index finger after being spiked) . . . Since the All-Star Game break, the Phillies are 3-7 scoring 29 runs. In their first 10 games a year ago after the break, 9-1, 46 runs . . . The August 1 trade deadline has 14 Phils pro scouts busy getting 2nd-3rd looks at other teams’ young prospects this final week . . . From the heat and humidity of Pittsburgh to the heat and humidity of Miami. Marlins Park has a retractable roof and is more Phillies friendly.
Five facts to know about the Marlins:
**Won their first ever series of four or more games against the Phillies in Philadelphia last week, 3-1.
**Lost two of three vs. Phillies in May in Marlins Park but hold 21-19 edge there.
**Fresh from dropping two of three home games to the Mets over the weekend.
**Ichiro Suzuki is four hits shy of 3,000.
**They lead the NL in infield hits, 93.
Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (61-41), 2nd place, International League North Division.
Won last 2 of a 3-game weekend series in Louisville to move 20 over .500 for first time in franchise history. Sunday WP: David Buchanan (7-5), 6.1-4-0-0-1-2. Weekend HR: RF Nick Williams (10), 1B Darin Ruf (11-12) . . . Jake Thompson (9-5), 7:05 tonight vs. Syracuse, returning home after a 6-1 road trip.
Reading Fightin’ Phils (68-33), 1st place, Eastern League Eastern Division.
Won 2 of 3 from Hartford. C Jorge Alfaro had a walk-off double, 6-5 Friday night. Nick Pivetta’s 5-game winning streak ended Sunday, 6-0; first loss since May 28. Anthony Vasquez (8-3) tossed a 9-inning complete game Sunday, 10-4. LF Andrew Pullin, 5-13 weekend, 5th HR; hitting .378. 1B Rhys Hoskins, 4 hits, including 28th HR, 4 RBI. DH Jake Fox, HR (17) Sunday. OF Aaron Altherr played Friday and Saturday, 2-8, 3 R, BB, 2 SB . . . Tyler Viza (3-3), 7:05 tonight vs. Binghamton.
Dusty Wathan became the Reading franchise’s all-time winningest manager on Friday with his 351st victory. He passed Bill Dancy (1983-94, 1988, 1994-95).
Clearwater Threshers (20-11), 1st, 2nd half, Florida State League North Division.
Won 2 of 3 at home vs. Ft. Myers. 5-0 Friday in a game called after 6 innings by rain.
WP: Drew Anderson (1-0), 5.1, 3-0-0-3-6. 7-2 Sunday behind John Richy (3-4), 6-5-2-1-2-3. OF Jiandido Tromp, 3-7 weekend including 5th HR (plus 10 at Lakewood). Other HRs: RF Derek Campbell (9), 1B Zach Green (11) . . . Day off today.
Lakewood BlueClaws (17-13), 3rd place, 2nd half, South Atlantic League North Division.
Dropped 2 of 3. Win came Sunday vs. Hickory, 15-3. WP: Alberto Tirado (2-1), 5-3-2-2-2-6, 2 WP. INF Grenny Cumana, 6-12 weekend, 3 R, 2B, RBI. RF Jose Pujols, HR (16) on Friday . . . Seranthony Dominiquez (2-1), 7:05 tonight vs. Hickory.
Williamsport Crosscutters (22-14), 2nd, New York-Penn League Pinckney Division.
Swept 3 to extend winning streak to 4 games. 8-0 Friday: Adonis Medina (3-0), 6-3-0-0-2-4. 5-3 in 10 innings at Batavia on Saturday night. 2-1 win at home in 11 innings on Sunday, walk-off 1B by SS Arquimedes Gamboa. LF Mark Laird, 5-13 weekend, 4 R, RBI
. . . Ranger Suarez (3-0), 7:05 tonight vs. Auburn.
Gulf Coast League Phillies, (19-7), 2nd place, Northwest Division.
Stretched winning streak to 8 games with 6-3 and 4-0 wins over Tigers East. Friday WP: Luis Carrasco (3-0); SV: Luis Gonzalez (1). HR: C Rodolfo Duran (#2), 1B Edwin Rodriguez (#2). Saturday WP: Sixto Sanchez (3-0), 6-1-0-0-0-4, lowered ERA to 0.67. Lone hit was a 1-out single in the 6th. CF Josh Stephen, 2-2, R, RBI, 2 SB. SS Cole Stobbe, 3-8 in the 2 games; hitting .400 in last 10 games . . . 12 noon today vs. Tigers West at Carpenter Complex.
Thome Phun Fact
(Jim will become the 38th Phillies legend to be inducted into the Toyota Wall of Fame on Friday night, August 12. Ceremonies begin at 7 p.m.)
He hit the last home run in the 33-year history of Veterans Stadium, eighth inning, Saturday, September 27, 2003, off Atlanta’s Will Cunnane. He led off the 10th inning with a double and scored the winning run on a single by Chase Utley. It was the Phillies last win at the Vet.
July 25, 2015–Cole Hamels pitches 13th no-hitter in franchise history, 5-0, against the Cubs in Wrigley Field. He walked two and struck out 13. It was his last start for the Phillies as he was traded six days later. Getty Images photo.