Saturday, June 18, 2016

D-backs' Greinke to duel Phillies' Eickhoff

Zack Greinke couldn't have found a much easier opponent to continue his roll against. The $200 million right-hander has allowed just two runs over his last three starts, spanning 23 innings. He'll look to extend it for a fourth start Saturday at 3:05 ET against the Phillies, baseball's second-worst offense.
The Phillies' offensive woes have only increased as the season has progressed. Manager Pete Mackanin believes it could be putting a strain on his starting staff, which has an 8.47 ERA over its last seven games. Meanwhile, their offense has scored an average of 3.43 runs a game over that stretch, resulting in losses in six of their last seven.
Greinke (9-3, 3.75) will be opposed by Jerad Eickhoff (4-8, 3.40), who is on a roll of his own after stumbling in May. Eickhoff saw his ERA rise from 1.89 to 4.44 from April 24 to May 16. But over his last three starts, Eickhoff owns a 1.37 ERA, while Greinke's sits at 0.78.
Three things to know about this game
• Paul Goldschmidt holds MLB's second-longest active hitting streak, at 10 games entering Friday's contest. Over that span, Goldy is hitting .385 (15-for-39). He is one double away from taking sole possession of third place on the list of D-backs' all-time doubles leaders.
• Michael Bourn has been a thorn in the Phillies' side his whole career. In 54 career games, he's hitting .303 with 23 stolen bases. All three of his career home runs against the Phils have come at Citizens Bank Park, where he is 56-for-181 (.309) in 89 career games.
• If the Phillies are leading late, look for David Hernandez in the eighth inning rather than Hector Neris. Neris has an 11.37 ERA over his last eight appearances. Mackanin believes Neris lowered his arm slot, resulting in worse command and different movement on his previously dominant splitter. He wants Neris to work out the kinks in lower-leverage situations.

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