You ever looked a fish in the eye? Just hauled one out of the sea and stared it down while it gasped and struggled for life. But you wouldn't give it to him. No. You knew that fish was you, flopping and writhing, long without its dignity, while a crowd of gawkers watched it slowly die.
The Phillies lost to the Marlins on Friday night.
It was Miami's eleventh win in twelve games, while the Phillies dropped their fourth in five. The Phillies danced around a comeback at one point, and even saw Maikel Franco crawl out of his hole at the plate, but in the end, they were no match for the raw, organic home run fuel flowing in the veins of Giancarlo Stanton.
The Marlins started flopping around early, as Christian Yelich greeted Vince Velasquez with a two-run home run in the bottom of the first. The next inning, four singles translated into two more runs for the Fish. J.T. Realmuto swatted at a pitch and dribbled it to the left of the mound with runners on first and third. Velasquez couldn't pick it up off the ground, and a run scored. Martin Prado followed with a boring, Martin Prado single and made it 4-0.
After the second, VV held up his end of things, finishing the sixth without allowing anymore runs, striking out five and walking only one. That left things up to the offense, who, for a time, came through. Briefly.
Down 4-0 in the third, a potential rally off Marlins starter Wei-Yin Chen looked to be, as always, killed by Cesar Hernandez grounding into a double play. But, as he drove a hard ground ball into the ground, he put nine-hole hitter Peter Bourjos - who had two hits and two walks on the day - on third, where Maikel Franco was able to double him in like a champ. Velasquez held off Miami with a 1-2-3 inning, and another two-out RBI double, this one from Bourjos, brought home Freddy Galvis and Velasquez, who had singled. Once more, Velasquez kept the Fish at bay in the fourth, and Franco rewarded him the next inning with a lead-off solo shot to tie the game.
Andrew Bailey kept the knot intact with a clean, quick inning after Velasquez's departure, but then it was Hector Neris' turn for everything to suck. Neris entered the game as the most reliable, most inspiring, most splitter-spewing reliever at Pete Mackanin's disposal. But the Fish had him figured out, and book-ended a Giancarlo Stanton home run with a pair of singles. Supposedly, that ball that Stanton hit traveled 475 feet at 113 m.p.h., and will provide energy to the city of Miami in its entirety until 2037.
With the score 6-4 and only one at-bat remaining, the Phillies sprung into action in the ninth.