The hope was that a series against the last place Marlins would be an elixir to turn the Phillies’ flagging fortunes around. While they may yet rebound to win the series, the first game was not encouraging for their chances in both the series, and the season as a whole.
Marlins pitcher Jose Urena has received more publicity this season for hitting batters rather than getting them out, but on Monday afternoon, he had very little difficulty with the Phillies’ lineup. The Phillies managed four hits and zero walks against Urena, with the lone run coming via a second inning home run by Asdrubal Cabrera.
Considering the shaky state of the Marlins’ bullpen, you might have thought the Phillies’ chances would improve once Urena left the game. But they spent the final two innings failing to do much of anything against relievers Adam Conley and Drew Steckenrider.
They also didn’t walk a single time, which continues a troubling trend:
These Phillies, as constructed, need to draw walks to win. They have walked three times in the last 35 innings.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) September 3, 2018
When your offense is only good at one thing and they stop doing that, it only stands to reason that they’ll stop scoring runs.
Phillies starter Vince Velasquez had a decent outing. He gave up three runs in five innings, but considering the sorry state of the offense, that was more than enough to assure defeat.
The Phillies will have another chance to get their offense going tomorrow against Trevor Richards. Richards isn’t a star, but considering the current state of the Phillies’ offense, it might not matter.