Phillies-Diamondbacks 5 Things: Can Jerad Eickhoff Get His First Win? | NBC 10 Philadelphia

Phillies-Diamondbacks 5 Things: Can Jerad Eickhoff Get His First Win?

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    Phillies-Diamondbacks 5 Things: Can Jerad Eickhoff Get His First Win?
    CSNPhilly.com
    Phillies-Diamondbacks 5 things: Can Jerad Eickhoff get his first win?

    Phillies (22-44) vs. Diamondbacks (42-26)
    4:05 p.m. on CSN; streaming live on CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports App

    After ending their eight-game losing streak on Thursday, the Phillies lost another one-run game on Friday. The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, won their fifth straight, the best current streak in the National League. The D-Backs will toss Zack Godley this afternoon against Jerad Eickhoff, who remains winless on the season.

    Here are five things to know for the Saturday afternoon duel:

    1. 14th time's the charm?
    His last time out, Eickhoff became the first Phillies pitcher since Cliff Lee in 2012 to be winless through 13 starts. Good company to have, but not a mark anyone wants to touch.

    Through the first 2.5 months of the season, Eickhoff has been completely unlike his 2016 self. His walks are up and he's getting battered around. His WHIP is up to 1.528 from 1.160 last season. He's seen especially poor results at Citizens Bank Park with a 5.46 ERA. 

    For the first time in over a month, Eickhoff actually left his last start with the Phillies in the lead. He allowed four runs (three earned) over six innings against a tough Red Sox lineup. As is par for the course for his season, the bullpen blew his one-run lead and he couldn't end his winless drought. 

    Still, this isn't the same Eickhoff who had 10 starts with two or fewer runs allowed and no win last season. He hasn't allowed fewer than three runs since Apr. 22, when his ERA stood at 2.55. It's ballooned to 5.09 since then.

    He faced the Diamondbacks twice last year, giving up five runs in 10 2/3 innings. Daniel Descalso, Paul Goldschmidt and Nick Ahmed all tagged him for home runs while Jake Lamb went 2 for 4 with a triple.

    2. Zack attack
    Godley was originally a Cubs draft pick back in 2013. He was traded a year and a half later to Arizona as part of a package for catcher Miguel Montero.

    Since joining the Diamondbacks organization, Godley has pitched in the majors for parts of the last three seasons. He was dominant in his major league debut over six innings, allowing no runs or walks and striking out seven. He struggled with a 6.39 ERA last season, highlighted by 13 home runs and 86 hits in 74 2/3 innings.

    In seven starts in 2017, he's 2-1 with a 2.44 ERA. Over 44 1/3 innings, he's given up just three home runs and 31 hits, holding a 0.992 WHIP. He hasn't allowed more than three runs in any start this year. He's given up two or fewer in five of them and has gone at least six innings in all but his first start. However, he's yet to throw 100 pitches.

    He needed only 80 pitches his last time out to get 20 outs against a surprisingly stout Brewers lineup, allowing two runs on just two hits.

    Godley lives off his sinker, which sits in the low 90s. It's been hit pretty well this year, but he limits the damage by keeping the ball on the ground with it and his 12-6 curveball. The curveball has been dominant and he's used his changeup effectively well to get swings and misses.

    He threw one shutout relief inning vs. the Phils last year. Howie Kendrick is 1 for 3 with two walks vs. him. Ty Kelly is 1 for 2 with a walk.

    3. D-Backs in the bullpen
    The D-Backs' starting rotation has been arguably the best in baseball this year. However, you can't sleep on their bullpen.

    The Phillies got a taste of it last night with three shutout innings between lefty Andrew Chafin and righties Archie Bradley and Fernando Rodney. It was a basic introduction to the three most effective relievers in Torey Lovullo's bullpen. 

    The 40-year-old Rodney got off to a dreadful start to the season. He has a 12.60 ERA in April and many were calling for him to be removed from closing duties. However, Lovullo stuck with him and he has been lights out for the last 1.5 months. In 16 appearances in May/June, he has yet to give up a run in 15 2/3 innings. He's allowed just two hits and walked six, striking out 15.

    Bradley and Chafin have been reliable as well with 1.16 and 1.93 ERAs respectively. Veteran journeyman Tom Wilhelmsen is used often but is hit well, walking far too many batters. JJ Hoover, previously with the Cincinnati Reds, has been a strikeout machine (14.5 per nine innings) but he also walks 5.8 per nine. His WHIP stands at 1.846, but he's been able to keep baserunners from turning into too many runs with his 4.57 ERA.

    T.J. McFarland and Jorge De La Rosa provide lefty relief while RHP Randall Delgado was demoted to the bullpen after Godley's emergence.

    4. Players to watch
    Phillies: Odubel Herrera has rebounded from his lackluster May, putting it far behind him. He's batting .344 this month with 13 extra-base hits.

    Diamondbacks: Goldschmidt has a reputation for being one of the best first basemen in the game, but don't let that fool you: He can steal bases despite getting thrown out Friday. He's swiped 13 already this year and has 66 stolen bases to just 14 caught stealings since the start of 2015. 

    5. This and that
    • The Phillies were swept in their four games against the D-Backs at CBP last year, but they returned the favor with a three-game sweep at Chase Field. The Phils took the season series in 2015 behind a three-game sweep at home. 

    • Tommy Joseph brings a 12-game hit streak into Saturday's action. It's brought his batting average to .264, just shy of his season-high of .265 in mid-May.

    • Since allowing two runs to the Nationals on May 14, Pat Neshek has thrown 12 1/3 shutout innings. He's allowed just eight baserunners in that span and struck out 11.