PHILS EFLIN’S 1ST-INNING MELTDOWN: SIGN OF TROUBLE OR A BLIP?

By Sam Bush

The Phils Zach Eflin entered yesterday with a 3.38 ERA in seven starts.

But then in the span of three batters in the first inning, he allowed the Nats a home run, walk and home run.

And he left DC with a 3.86 ERA.

Kyle Schwarber hit a 1-0 sinker for a two-run home run to left field to give the Nationals a 2-1 lead. Starlin Castro walked and Josh Bell hit a two-run home run to right field on a first-pitch slider to make it 4-1.

“Yeah, it’s pretty uncharacteristic,” Eflin said. “I mean, I hate giving up walks. They just took advantage of it. I’m going to go out and throw a bullpen and get my location back and just keep trusting what I’m doing and be a competitor. Baseball is a funny game. It’s a game of failure and sometimes they’re going to clip you. Sometimes they’re going to miss balls right down the middle.

“The one to Schwarber was kind of middle away, a little up. I’m trying to go down and away right there and get a roll over. But I left it up a little bit and he did what he was supposed to do. … The backdoor slider to Bell kind of got a little bit more middle of the plate than I wanted. He did a good job of ambushing.”

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