While the sabermetrics community scoffs at wins for pitchers, it is still a measure to gauge success.
Nobody knows that more than Phillies righthander Jerad Eickhoff, whose win total this season isn't misleading.
It still stands at zero.
Eickhoff settled for a no-decision Saturday after a 5-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks before 21,108 at Citizens Bank Park.
With just a 22-45 record, the Phillies are looking for any positive signs, and Eickhoff's performance, even though he needed 105 pitches to navigate six innings, was encouraging.
"Eickhoff pitched well enough to win," manager Pete Mackanin said. "He gave us six good innings."
A brief rainstorm delayed the game 50 minutes, but it didn't alter Eickhoff's focus. He allowed one run on five hits over six innings, with three walks and two strikeouts. It was far from dominating but still effective against a potent Diamondbacks lineup.
"My command was OK for the quality of stuff I had," Eickhoff said. "I was able to locate some fastballs and get enough curveballs over for strikes."
This was Eickhoff's 14th start of the season. He is 0-7 with a 4.81 ERA.
According to Elias, over the last 45 years only one Phillies pitcher went as many as 14 consecutive starts without a victory at any point during the season. In 1997, Matt Beech, who didn't make his first start until May, went 15 straight winless starts before tossing seven shutout innings in Colorado in a 7-1 victory over the Rockies on Aug. 12.
Eickhoff isn't worried about statistics.
"A lot of it I can't control," Eickhoff said. "I am sticking with my process of getting ahead, putting guys ahead, and getting outs. That is all I am worried about and all I care about."
In his defense, his run support of 2.70 (per nine innings pitched) is the lowest among any qualifying starter.
"At the end of the day if it is a loss it is a loss, or a win it's a win. But I am trying to keep us in the game the best I can every time I come out," Eickhoff said.
An RBI single up the middle by Arizona third baseman Jake Lamb in the third inning opened the scoring.
Eickhoff got out of a jam in the sixth inning when leftfielder Aaron Altherr threw Lamb out at home for a double play on Chris Ianetta's flyout.
"I was trying to catch it and get rid of it as soon as I could," said Altherr, who has three outfield assists.
The Phillies helped Eickhoff avoid a loss by tying the score in the sixth. After Maikel Franco drew a one-out walk, he advanced to third on Michael Saunders' double and scored on Andrew Knapp's sacrifice fly to center field.
At that point, righthander Zack Godley, who had a career-high eight strikeouts, was lifted for lefthander Jorge De La Rosa.
Freddy Galvis walked, putting runners at the corners. Daniel Nava, pinch-hitting for Eickhoff, hit a sharp low liner to third base that was snared by Lamb for the third out.
Phillies righthander Edubray Ramos got in immediate trouble when he entered in relief of Eickhoff to start the seventh. Light-hitting Rey Fuentes opened with a single. De La Rosa, attempting to sacrifice, got more than he bargained for. His bunt in front of the plate was fielded by Knapp, who elected to throw to second, where Fuentes was safe, putting runners on first and second.
Daniel Descalso's RBI single to right also drove Ramos out of the game in favor of Casey Fien, who, after striking out David Peralta, allowed a two-run double to four-time all-star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. Arizona added an RBI single in the four-run inning by Brandon Drury.
In the bottom of the inning, Tommy Joseph hit a two-out single to right, extending his hitting streak to 13 games. The inning ended when Goldschmidt made a nice catch of a Saunders line drive with the bases loaded.