By Mary Cunningham
The other side of the Cole Hamels trade is making his mark on the Phillies’ pitching rotation.
Rookie right-hander Jerad Eickhoff pitched seven shutout innings in the 2-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night at Turner Field.
“Eickhoff was good,” interim manager Pete Mackanin said. “It was nice to see him give us seven strong innings. We just couldn’t score runs.”
Despite Eickhoff’s effort, the Phillies lost their fifth straight game. They’re now 4-13 in September and have dropped six straight games on the road. The Phillies (56-93) are now three games behind the Braves (59-50) in the quest to get out of last place in the NL East.
Eickhoff threw a season-high-tying seven innings for the second straight start. He did not allow a run, allowed only five hits and struck out five. Eickhoff left with a 1-0 lead, but wound up with a no-decision and has not won since his season debut on Aug. 21 at Miami.
“He had his good curveball again,” Mackanin said. “Certainly never had any trouble, made pitches, located his fastball, his slider. One bad pitch, a changeup to [Jace] Peterson for a base hit. He located very well.”
The effort was typical of the way Eickhoff has pitched since his promotion from Triple A Lehigh Valley. Eickhoff has a 3.77 ERA over his winless stretch and has allowed only one run in 14 innings over his last two starts. He’s living up to the promise that was expected when he was acquired from the Rangers in the Hamels trade.