Adam Conley is not the Marlins' best pitcher. He made his debut this past June and has spent the summer compiling over 49 innings 45 SO and a 4.22 ERA - which is less than half of David Buchanan's 8.49 ERA. Unlike the Braves, who have shellacked Buchanan routinely over three starts this season, the Marlins haven't faced him yet, so the hope was that his habit of giving up too many runs very early in the baseball game would catch them off guard.
Pete Mackanin twirled around his 5-6-7 spots in the lineup tonight as well, with Bogusevic-Blanco-Kratz becoming Sweeney-Ruiz-Asche. With ten games left, the soldiers are falling.
Howard has cyst in back of his knee that's flared up. Franco can swing pain free, but "twinge" of pain with he makes contact, Pete said.— Ryan Lawrence (@ryanlawrence21) September 23, 2015
So tonight, for the 11th to final time in 2015, the Phillies set out to fill some space.
Buchanan went out there and gave the Phillies five more innings of his life, featuring three strikeouts, no walks, two runs but only one of them earned, and a very David Buchanan-y seven hits. His ERA sank below 8.00 for the first time in a while, and he departed with a still pretty bad 7.96.
The unearned blemish came in the second, when Buchanan was actually doing the right thing and getting J.T. Realmuto to ground into a twin killing. The second was a bit less subtle, as Justin Bour crashed a home run into the barren wasteland of Marlins Park's outfield seats.
Adam Loewen came in for an inning and a third of mopping, allowing nothing else to happen other than outs. Jeanmar Gomez and Luis Garcia combined for 1.2 innings of no-hit ball. And although Hector Neris allowed a pair of one-out singles, he too escaped with Miami's runs still festering at two.
The Phillies spent much of the game failing to tie a 2-1 deficit, thanks to an RBI double play of their own in the fifth courtesy of Carlos Ruiz. It wasn't until the eighth that they broke out their secret weapon: speed demon Erik Kratz.
Kratz had doubled with one out and scrambled to third when Freddy Galvis grounded out. With two gone and the tying run 90 feet from turning this into an annoyingly long baseball game, Kratz didn't even have to wait for Aaron Altherr's subsequent double to score, as Mike Dunn hurled a wild pitch that allowed The Catcher From Philadelphia to tie the game - after a brief period in which he was called out; the call was reversed following a squirrelly Pete Mackanin challenge.
Ken Giles came on to keep the Fish dead, but Ichiro and Dee Gordon hit back to back singles before a Carlos Ruiz throwing error on a Donovan Solano bunt allowed Ichiro to score. Mackanin saw the writing on the wall and pushed Jerome Williams in there to give up the game-winning run in the 11th off a Dee Gordon double.
And another day in September passed.