Scratchin' and Clawin': Phillies 5, Marlins 4

Eliot J. Schechter

In a see-saw affair, the Phils scored two in the ninth to end their six-game losing streak.

On those infrequent nights in which the Phillies score more runs then their opponent, this is usually how they do it.

They do not overwhelm you. They do not deluge you in a tidal wave of runs. They usually scratch and claw, with singles and ground outs, with errors and fielder's choices, with wild pitches and smoke and mirrors.

It's a difficult formula to repeat over and over again, unless you are an actual real-life, potion-spouting wizard. And it's one of the main reasons the team has struggled so much offensively this season. But tonight in Miami, the Phillies offense did just barely enough to squeeze out a much-needed, come-from-behind, 5-4 victory over the Marlins, salvaging the final game of this three-game series, and ending their six-game losing streak.

After falling behind 4-3 in the eighth, the Phils rallied in the ninth off the Marlins' usually stingy closer Steve Cishek. Tony Gwynn Jr. led off the inning with a four-pitch walk. After a Cody Asche fly-out, Ben Revere singled on a grounder to right, putting runners at the corners with one out. With Jimmy Rollins at the plate, Revere stole second. Rollins then scored Gwynn from third on a fielder's choice grounder to tie the game, as second baseman Donovan Solano threw home too late to nab Gwynn.

Chase Utley then followed with a humpback liner to Solano who caught it on a short hop. Revere read it beautifully off third and scored the go-ahead run, as Utley was thrown out at first. Ryan Howard then struck out to end the inning, and Jonathan Papelbon came on to close out the game in impressive fashion for his 19th save of the season.

We can do this, Jonathan. WE CAN FOOL THEM ALL! *maniacally laughs while twirling long handlebar mustache*

Miami jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Kyle Kendrick, who otherwise pitched an effective seven innings and gave up just two runs on six hits with four strikeouts and one walk, lowering his ERA to 4.12. It brings a tear to the eye to see our wondrous trade chips perform so ably.

The Phils answered back in the sixth, thanks to a Cesar Hernandez RBI groundout and a two-run double by rookie catcher Cameron Rupp. Miami took the lead back in the bottom of the eighth with two runs off Jake Diekman, who did not have his best stuff tonight. He gave up three hits and recorded nary a strikeout or a walk in his one inning of work. However, because baseball is weird, it was Diekman who got the win.

Wins, the most important stat on earth.

So, for one night at least, the Phillies sent the faithful to bed with a smile on their faces and a spring in their sleepy-eyed steps, content in the knowledge that the hometown 25 had a good night.

Well then.


Source: FanGraphs

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