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Phillies focus shifts to slumbering bats, Zach Eflin and Mark Appel against Padres

Phillies focus shifts to slumbering bats, Zach Eflin and Mark Appel against Padres

Phillies focus shifts to slumbering bats, Eflin and newly arrived Appel originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

There is much intrigue surrounding Saturday night’s Phillies game in San Diego.

Can the Phils bounce back from being shut out for the seventh time this season?

How will starting pitcher Zach Eflin fare?

And will Mark Appel — yes, Mark Appel — get into the game?

Aaron Nola continued his recent string of dominance Friday night only to come out on the wrong end of a rather cruel 1-0 loss to the Padres. It was cruel because Nola struck out 10 batters over seven innings and received no run support. It was doubly cruel because the only run of the game scored when Nola’s older brother, Padres’ catcher Austin, stroked an RBI hit in the sixth inning. Austin Nola smacked his brother’s 0-2 fastball to right field to score Eric Hosmer, who had doubled.

Tough way to lose a game. Austin gets bragging rights at the Nola Thanksgiving dinner table.

Phillies bats were quiet against the Padres. The team produced just five singles and left 10 men on base while going 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position. Lefty MacKenzie Gore pitched five shutout innings for the Padres and the bullpen did the rest.

Despite riding the bats to a 16-6 record so far this month, the Phils have had a lot of nights this season where the offensive completely disappears. The Phils have been shut out seven times and held to one run seven other times in their 72 games this season. San Diego has shut out the Phils three times in five games this season.

The Phils started off this road trip by winning four of five in Washington, followed by two losses in Texas. They have split the first two in San Diego.

There’s lots to watch in Saturday night’s game, even beyond whether the Phillies’ offense will wake up against lefty Blake Snell.

Eflin will make the start for the Phillies. He has been forced to leave each of his last two starts, after six and two innings, respectively, because of soreness…

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