We all knew where this was going: The Phillies were playing the Marlins, and despite what seemed like a starting pitching mismatch in their favor, found themselves trailing late in the game. It felt like so many other games the Phillies have played against the Marlins over the past few seasons: They’d struggle against an underwhelming pitcher and make self-inflicted mistakes leading to a frustrating loss.
Then the bottom of the eighth began, and as Quicksilver would say...
The Phillies offense finally came to life, scoring seven runs in the frame, lifting the Phillies to a 8-3 win.
As mentioned, the Phillies seemingly had the starting pitching advantage with Zack Wheeler going against Cody Poteet, a 26-year-old making his second career start. And Wheeler didn’t disappoint, going seven strong innings, allowing just a single run. He even tried to jump-start the offense with a leadoff double in the third.
Zack Wheeler is doing it all. pic.twitter.com/dUvE0LIGul— Phillies Nation (@PhilliesNation) May 18, 2021
Unfortunately, the Phillies couldn’t capitalize, which was representative of most of the game for the offense. Poteet shut them out for the first five innings, and they were only able to scratch across a single run against three relievers over the next two. When Jose Alvarado gave up a two-run home run in the top of the eighth, the game felt as good as over.
I’m not sure what changed in the bottom of the eighth. Maybe they were inspired by the two fans who ran onto the field. Maybe Marlins reliever Dylan Floro isn’t very good. Maybe they were as fed up with losing to the Marlins as the rest of us. Whatever the reason, the Phillies’ offense suddenly came to life with heroes both expected and unexpected.
Alec Bohm drove in the first run with a double off the fence. Nick Maton - who is starting to earn 1993 Kevin Stocker comparisons - followed with a run-scoring single.
Nick Maton doing a pretty impressive 1993 Kevin Stocker impression this year. https://t.co/1di1fuaE8I— John Stolnis (@JohnStolnis) May 19, 2021
Ronald Torreyes, fresh of the injured list, added two more with a double, and Jean Segura and Bryce Harper had RBI singles after that.
The Marlins were all but defeated at that point, and Hector Neris’ 1-2-3 ninth inning simply made it official.
There are two more games left in this series, and going forward, It would be nice if the Phillies didn’t have to rely on an unexpected comeback. But based on recent history between these teams, the Phillies can’t really complain about wins no matter how they come.