After three hours and 51 minutes of decent starting pitching, terrible defense behind the plate, another impressive night from the bullpen and a load of impatient at bats, the Phillies fell to the Marlins in Miami tonight, 5-4 in 11 innings.
The loss drops the Phillies 11 games under .500 for the second time this season and extended their losing streak to five games.
A.J. Burnett struck out 10 Marlins in six innings of work and was given an early 2-0 lead, but squandered it thanks to some timely Marlins hitting, some wildness, and some poor defense from rookie catcher Cameron Rupp, who had trouble blocking balls in the dirt all night. Burnett left down 4-2, with that fourth run scoring on a wild pitch that Rupp could not handle.
However, to their credit, the struggling Phillies offense tied the game late, thanks to back-to-back homers by Marlon Byrd (his 16th) and Cody Asche (his 5th) in the eighth inning off Marlins' reliever Kevin Gregg.
In case you were wondering, Kevin Gregg is the Marlins' version of Chad Durbin. Just FYI.
A hot month of July by Byrd would be most welcome as the trade deadline approaches at the end of the month. It was also encouraging to see Asche go 2-for-5 as well as to see Domonic Brown notch a solid 2-for-5 evening at the plate.
Unfortunately, the Phillies could muster nothing further offensively after those two homers, as Miami relievers not named Kevin Gregg retired the last 10 Phillies hitters of the game, all of them meekly.
Once again, the bullpen was tremendous. Ken Giles has been dominant since being called up to the Majors, and was once again tonight.
13 strikeouts in 28 batters faced for KennyGVEVO— Paul Boyé (@paul_boye) July 2, 2014
It'll be very exciting when Kenny G takes over as the team's closer and can enter the game to this hot little number on the Phanavision.
There's not even a hint of irony in that video, guys.
Jake Diekman followed Giles with a highly effective inning of work, with Justin De Fratus getting the hard luck loss after 1.1 innings, thanks to a Jeff Baker single, a sacrifice bunt, and then a one-out broken-bat RBI knock from the venerable Ed Lucas.