Good lord, that night.
You know what, let’s not even rehash what happened last night. It’s a top five loss in the team’s last 5 years and that’s enough to say. Tonight was a slightly different story.
The plan was Aaron Nola in game one, then use the bullpen for game two. In order for that plan to work, Nola had to be NOLA, the ACE.
It’s wonderful when a plan comes together.
The team was stymied early on by Nola’s counterpart, Trevor Rogers, by striking out five times in the first two innings. The only issue for Miami is that Nola matched Rogers, striking out five Marlins of his own in two innings. Heading into the third, it looked like it would be another game in which the fans would be begging for the offense to do something - ANYTHING - to get Nola some run support. Tonight, they kindly obliged.
In the third, Adam Haseley slashed a one out double (off a lefty, no less!), bringing Andrew McCutchen up to the plate.
pic.twitter.com/3i8MumS50V— MLB Breaking News (@MLBNews1234) September 11, 2020
Andrew McCutchen hits a 2-run shot (387 feet) to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead.
They weren’t done. Rhys Hoskins followed that blast with a single, then after a Bryce Harper fly ball, J.T. Realmuto was hit by a pitch. Jean Segura continued his hot streak by ripping a two out double that scored both Hoskins and Realmuto, extending the lead to 4-0.
In the fourth, Haseley got another single, this time of the RBI variety, scoring Phil Gosselin. McCutchen singled next, scoring Alec Bohm and putting runners on the corners. That’s when Hoskins stepped to the plate and delivered.
Who would have thunk?— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) September 12, 2020
11 JT Realmuto
10 Rhys Hoskins
7 Bryce Harper
Who will lead Phillies in HRs
That made it 9-0 and the rout was on. In the fifth, they’d get two more when Didi Gregorius led off with a single, then Bohm and Haseley hit back-to-back doubles, making it 11-0 and giving Nola the run support he needed.
Not that he needed that much on a night like this. He was just a buzzsaw through this lineup, only allowing three hits over seven innings, not walking a blessed soul and striking out 10. “Dominant” doesn’t really even begin to describe his outing tonight in a start that the team really needed. That’s what aces do.
Game two: Marlins 5, Phillies 3
In game two, the Phillies decided to roll the dice and go with a bullpen game to keep everyone on a pitching schedule.
It didn’t go as planned.
In the first, Blake Parker was the first one out of the ‘pen and did a rather commendable job. He retired the six men he faced in order, striking out three in his performance. The Marlins, also, were using a bullpen game and their choice to open the game, Daniel Castano, was also good, giving up only one unearned run over 3 2⁄3 innings, scattering five hits. That lone run came in the third inning when Andrew Knapp singled, went to second on a wild pitch, then went to third on a single by McCutchen. Hoskins grounded back to the pitcher, who was only able to get his man at first out, meaning Knapp scored and opened the scoring, 1-0.
The next man up for Joe Girardi was Heath Hembree, who promptly allowed a game tying home run to Lewis Brinson.
“Bring on the righties!” - Lewis Brinson, probably. pic.twitter.com/RKvkUNW1f3— Locked On Marlins (@LockedOnMarlins) September 12, 2020
From there, it was just another steady drip of runs allowed by this bullpen.
The fourth inning saw Ranger Suarez start with allowing three consecutive singles that made the score 2-1. Suarez was replaced by David Hale, who allowed a bunt single that loaded the bases. A force play at home got the first out and a smidge of light was seen at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps Hale could escape, wriggling out of the jam and only giv—
Jorge Alfaro singled home two more runs, making it 4-1.
In the fifth, McCutchen continued his torrid series by hitting an RBI singled that scored Ronald Torreyes, who led off with a double, cutting the Marlins’ lead to two. Miami would answer in the sixth with a big insurance run when Starling Marte ripped an RBI single through the middle, making the score 5-2.
The ninth saw the Phillies get one more run off of Yimi Garcia when the slumping Bryce Harper hit a two-out ground rule double, followed by an RBI single by Realmuto, who had a good night with three hits in this second game. That singled would make the score 5-3, but Garcia would settle down and get Jean Segura to strike out to end the game.
If we are looking for positive in this evening’s events, here are a few:
- Aaron Nola is an ace, full stop.
- Blake Parker is probably the one reliever you can consistently trust right now in that bullpen, which means tomorrow he’ll probably spontaneously combust.
- J.T. Realmuto is getting hot again, something the lineup will continue to need.
These teams will battle once again tomorrow.