The Phillies had eight hits and Zach Eflin carried a perfect game into the sixth inning, and it would really have made sense if they had won Tuesday’s game against the Marlins in Miami. They should have, and they could have, but instead of doing it, they didn’t. Here are a few of the times that they could have done it:
- Rhys Hoskins, first and third with two outs
- Maikel Franco, first and second with one out
- Scott Kingery, first and second with two outs
- Jorge Alfaro, first and second with one out
- Pedro Florimon, first and second with two outs
- Maikel Franco, bases loaded with two outs
But the Phillies did it none of those times. Rhys Hoskins doubled in Jorge Alfaro in the fifth to make it 1-0, but the recently returned Justin Bour hit a home run in the sixth for Miami to tie the game. From there, no opportunities were taken advantage of and the teams joined hands and ran wildly into extra innings.
It took part of one extra inning for Yacksel Rios to allow a lead-off triple from Cameron Maybin in the bottom of the tenth before pinch hitter Yadiel Rivera singled him home. And the Marlins—not the Phillies—won the game, 2-1.
It was exactly not what the Phillies needed after losing two straight series that they had seemed primed to win just a week ago. Instead, the Marlins secured a series win with their second straight defeat of the Phillies, their fourth consecutive victory, and their third series win in a row.
Adding to the Phillies’ woes is the list of injured players: J.P. Crawford, Ben Lively, and Victor Arano are all visiting the DL, which was why Eflin got the promotion and start tonight in the first place. As a season debut, Eflin’s could not have gone much better: He threw six innings, three hits, one run, three strikeouts, and allowed no walks. In the sixth, he first ran into trouble with a bloop Miguel Rojas double. Rojas reached second base and wagged a finger at his teammates, as if to say, “We are the superior baseball team.” Moments later he was caught in a rundown on an attempted Lewis Brinson sacrifice bunt. Eflin then picked Brinson off first to clear the mechanism and get the bases empty with two outs, which was when Bour got into a pitch that tied the game.
The Marlins’ starter, Jarlin Garcia, started the year in the bullpen for Miami. He wound up with a comparable line to Eflin, and the Marlins pitching staff combined for nine strikeouts on the night—Hoskins, Aaron Altherr, and Jorge Alfaro had two apiece. They left 11 men on base and hit 1-for-10 with RISP. Also, Scott Kingery got hit by a pitch, went into a crouch from the pain, talked to the trainer, and stayed in the game. Which is good, not only because he wasn’t hurt too badly, but because with Crawford out, the depth at shortstop is not great.
Tommy Hunter inherited the game from Eflin and allowed a pair of hits but no runs, and after him, Luis Garcia, Adam Morgan, and Edubray Ramos all denied the Fish hits and runs over two innings. But the way the Phillies were not scoring, the bullpen was just taking turns to see who would be on the field when they lost the game, and last night’s loser wound up being Rios.