Whew, this was not exactly a banner day in Philadelphia.
By now, you’ve read about the collapse in Washington by the football team, so let’s focus our attention on the team best positioned for the playoffs - the Phillies. Earlier today, we got some bad news when we saw that J.T. Realmuto and Rhys Hoskins were both out of the lineups for both games, something you don’t want to see any day. Then, when Rafael Marchan was called up to replace the optioned Conner Brogdon, it brought forth speculation that Realmuto might be more injured than originally expected. While we await word on exactly how injured Realmuto is, the team had to move forward on the day missing their starting catcher, first baseman and #2 pitcher. Great!
Game one: Marlins 2, Phillies 1
As you saw earlier, the lineup was decimated with injuries to two of their best hitters. Then they found out that Sixto Sanchez was moved up to the first game rather than the originally scheduled second start. That didn’t bode well as Sanchez has been excellent since ascending to Miami this season. Against a weakened lineup, the prospect for his throwing a gem increased.
Meanwhile, the Phillies would be forced into another bullpen game thanks to the injury to Zack Wheeler. That meant Ramon Rosso would start the game and go as far as he could without putting the Phillies in too far back a position to win.
The game actually turned into a pitching duel, one in which the Phillies struck first. In the second inning, Alec Bohm doubled off of Sanchez, then came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Andrew Knapp.
It was impressive to get an early run against Sanchez, but there was no doubt that more would be needed. He’s too good a pitcher to let get into a groove and though the team threatened a few times, they weren’t able to break through again.
On the flip side, Rosso actually fared rather well to start, but in the third, he ran into trouble. He walked Jazz Chisholm and Jorge Alfaro to open the inning, then a single by Corey Dickerson tied it up. Starling Marte followed that with an RBI single that scored Alfaro and the Marlins were out in front, 2-1. Rosso departed with one out and runners on the corners for Brogdon, who beared down and got out of the inning unscathed.
Too bad Sixto was so good today.
He didn’t pile up a ton of strikeouts, but his 94+ sinker would do enough damage on the day as he used well placed double plays to get out of some jams. One came in the fifth when Sanchez walked Knapp with one out, but a double play inducing sinker to Adam Haseley ended that burgeoning threat. In the sixth, the Phillies got a two out walk to Andrew McCutchen and a single by Jean Segura to get a small threat going, bringing Bryce Harper to the plate against Sixto. It was the high point of the game.
The ball was hit hard, but it was an “at ‘em” ball. Threat over and, essentially, game over.
Sixto was good - not great, but good - but the lineup just wasn’t good enough to give him much of a challenge. The hope was the team would come out and have a better showing in game two.
Game two: Marlins 8, Phillies 1
I guess they didn’t.
This game wasn’t fun at all. After the depressing loss by the Eagles and the underwhelming performance by the Phillies in game one, it was assumed that in game two, the team would come out fighting. Instead, they just depressed.
Zach Eflin opened the bottom of the first by allowing the first five Marlins to reach base via a walk and four straight singles. Before the team could blink, they were down 3-0. Not exactly awe inspiring.
Alec Bohm tried to make it interesting with a solo shot in the top of the third, but that was all the offense the team could muster.
63) Alec Bohm - (3) Solo pic.twitter.com/Yefa82aWaT— Phillies HR Tracker (@PHI_HR_Tracker) September 13, 2020
The Marlins would nickel and dime the team for a while, especially in the sixth when a walk to Garrett Cooper, a single by Jazz Chisholm, a double by Miguel Rojas and a home run by Chad Wallach put the nail in the Phillies’ Sunday coffin, putting the game officially out of reach at 8-1. Nothing else happened. The game was over and the Phillies fell out of a guaranteed playoff spot.
With that doubleheader sweep, the Marlins took over second place in the NL East and now find themselves ahead of the Phillies in the race for that final spot in the division. Winning tomorrow will flip-flop the teams yet again, but with all the injuries that the team is starting to incur, coupled with the fact that a rookie will more than likely have to be the catcher tomorrow, means that the lineup will probably be less than intimidating yet again. Losing your starting catcher and first baseman really put a damper on the production output.
They’ll try and scrape together enough runs one last time in Miami tomorrow evening.