In times of despair, it often helps to think back to happier times. Like Friday afternoon when the Phillies were coming off of a four-game sweep of the Mets. Or even to the sixth inning of Saturday’s game when they led the Marlins by a score of 6-1.
Against the worst offense in the National League, that lead should have held up. But in the bottom of the sixth, starter Zach Eflin - who was mostly cruising until that point - gave up a two-run home run to Neil Walker. Eflin was able to close out the inning, but having thrown 89 pitches, manager Gabe Kapler chose to take him out.
That decision proved unwise. Juan Nicasio had been excellent in the month of June, not allowing a run over 10 relief appearances, but on Saturday, regression bit him hard. Four batters into the seventh inning, the Marlins had one run across and the bases loaded with just one out.
Adam Morgan was called upon to escape the jam, and he failed miserably. The first three batters he faced got hits, and by the time he was mercifully removed from the game, the Marlins had taken a 9-6 lead.
*CLEARS THROAT FROM SCREAMING* We started this inning down 6-3. We are now leading 6-9.— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) June 29, 2019
(ADDENDUM: nice.) pic.twitter.com/FGVXrtryBx
The Phillies must have used up all of their late-inning comebacks against the Mets, because they were unable to answer in the final two innings. That continues a disturbing trend.
The Phillies have lost their last nine and 13 of the last 15 games to teams not named the New York Mets.— Kevin Cooney (@KevinCooney) June 29, 2019
Unfortunately for the Phillies, they don’t play the Mets again until next weekend. Perhaps at some point they might figure out a way to beat the other teams on the schedule.