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Chase Ut-less: Marlins 9, Phillies 7

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The Phillies took what could have been a demoralizing loss and turned it into a closer, still somewhat demoralizing loss in the first game of the post-Utley era.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

I'm not saying Chase Utley would have hit a seven-run bomb at some point to make it all better, I'm just saying that the possibility of that happening is now definitely zero since he doesn't play for the team anymore. But hey, one thing to note is that this 9-7 loss was on its way to being an 8-1 loss until some interference by the Phillies offense.

Jerome Williams took the mound, and then less than two innings and what might have been six hours later, he left the mound, having given up eight earned runs, four walks, and one strikeout. Cesar Jimenez came on and managed the Marlins' lineup just fine for 2.1 innings, as did Justin De Fratus for 2.0 innings. Adam Loewen came on to close things out in the eighth and ninth and allowed a sac fly to Martin Prado or something.

But mostly, it was Williams. Darin Ruf gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the first with a sac fly, but the Marlins took advantage of dual four-run innings in the first and second, featuring a pair of two-run bombs - one from Marcell Ozuna that took a long flight before nesting on top of the foul pole. It was all gross Jerome Williams stuff that we're all too familiar with at this point.

On the other side, bad pitcher Brad Hand had no problem against the Phillies offense, and departed after six innings of one-run ball. Things were settling in for a nice, subservient Phillies loss until Aaron Altherr led off the seventh with a double. Freddy Galvis singled him in and moved into scoring position when Carlos Ruiz grounded out. It was only one Domonic Brown strikeout later that Cesar Hernandez singled Galvis in, and then Odubel Herrera doubled and it was a big overstimulating rally that somehow ended with the score only 8-4. Not exactly worth turning the volume up, but then the eighth inning was more of the same.

Altherr had another great at-bat and worked a walk, only to be tripled in by Galvis, who followed him home on a single by Ruiz, making it 8-6. Suddenly, the Marlins scoring more than six runs seemed to be the critical difference in the game, especially since the Phillies' rally ended there. The Marlins added a run and Cody Asche equalized it with a solo shot in the ninth, but no further ground was gained.

So there you have it. Your post-Utley Phils are a tenacious bunch, attacking in spurts of randomly placed offense that, given their poor starting pitching, will rarely be enough to carry them. Now we know. Mystery solved.