You’d think by this point that the Phillies archnemesis would be someone like the Braves, the Mets, or even the Pirates because of the whole Pennsylvania thing. Never in a million years would we figure that the team doing the most damage lately to a Phillies season is the freakin’ Marlins. This time, they did enough to knock the Phillies out of first place in the division.
The game seemed like an obvious win. Marlins rookie starter Trevor Rogers was coming into his start with an ERA over 5 while his counterpart Zach Eflin was riding a decent two start streak.
And it started well for the Phillies, too!
They loaded the bases with one out thanks to a Jean Segura single and back-to-back walks to Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto. Rogers, though, settled down and got Scott Kingery to hit a sacrifice fly to score Segura and then retired Andrew McCutchen on a groundout. The Phillies could only score one, foreshadowing an inability to get runners home. In the home half of the first, Matt Joyce singled with one out, then went to third on a two-out Corey Dickerson double. A Jesus Aguilar single scored both runners and put the Marlins on top 2-1.
In the top of the second, the Phillies loaded the bases again on Rogers’ third, fourth and fifth walks of the game, but they could not capitalize, leaving them stranded. Rogers would set the Phillies down in order in the third and fourth inning before giving up a single to Roman Quinn, who then promptly stole second. Yet again, the Phillies left him there and could not score.
Meanwhile, Eflin matched Rogers and kept putting up zeroes on the scoreboard. In the sixth, the Phillies got back-to-back one out singles from McCutchen and Rhys Hoskins only to have Neil Walker ground into a double play. The bottom of the sixth saw Jesus Aguilar reach second on an error by Kingery, then score on the next pitch when Eflin threw a ball hit back to him into the stands giving Miami their third run.
And still Rogers plugged away. He retired the Phillies in order in the seventh, then was removed for a pinch hitter. Finally in the eighth, the offense woke up a bit when Harper hit a leadoff single, go to second on a Kingery one out single and finally score on a McCutchen single. However, the Marlins bullpen clamped down and prevented the Phillies from capitalizing and eventually held the fort long enough to win the game.
The Phillies now sit 1 1⁄2 games behind the Braves for first place in the East and 1 games behind three teams in the wild card. They’ll send Vince Velasquez to the mound in Miami tomorrow night.