Following an encouraging feature about Vince Velasquez written by Matt Gelb in The Athletic, in which VV claimed he “has more control over what he’s doing,” and posting a respectable 2.84 ERA in five starts since rejoining the starting rotation, Phillies fans were actually excited for a Velasquez start for the first time in forever. And with all of the no-hitters occurring, why couldn’t Vince be the one to throw a no-no for the third day in a row?
But alas, Phillies gonna Phillies.
Velasquez was scratched from the game at the last minute due to a numb right index finger. So, who was going to start? Former #4 starter Matt Moore? No, silly! It was Joe Girardi’s golden boy David Hale, of course!
Opposing Hale for the Miami Marlins would be Sandy Alcantara, who, in six starts against the Phils, is 4-1 with a 2.82 ERA. The Phils starting lineup was once again without J.T. Realmuto (why didn’t they just put him on the IL?) and Jean Segura, who was under the weather but was available off of the bench.
Perhaps it was Alcantara’s turn for a no-no? We shall see!
Despite learning only 30 minutes prior to game time that he was starting, Hale wasn’t too shabby. Through three innings, he allowed one run (a towering solo HR by Miguel Rojas) and struck out four. It truly could have been much, much worse.
No-doubter from our co-host Miguel Rojas! pic.twitter.com/0LRBBrThdF— The Chris Rose Rotation (@RoseRotation) May 20, 2021
After Zack Wheeler pinch-hit for Hale in the third (yes, you read that correctly), Moore entered the game in the fourth. Before he recorded any outs and on only 12 pitches, he allowed a walk, followed by a 2-run moonshot HR to Garrett Cooper.
Garrett Cooper - Miami Marlins (3) pic.twitter.com/AuHeAUgC3F— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) May 21, 2021
I never thought I’d say this, but...I actually wish they left Hale in? Curse you, Phillies. Why must you put me in these situations?
Brad Miller broke up Alcantara’s no-hit bid in the fourth with a double. He was unfortunately stranded at second as the Phils were unable to capitalize on the one-out XBH. Ho-hum.
I mean, it could’ve been worse, I guess. We could’ve been the Palm Beach Cardinals.
Jacob deGrom is throwing 102 MPH...— Palm Beach Cardinals (@GoPBCardinals) May 20, 2021
Someone send help.
Ronald Torreyes stayed hot when he pinch-hit for Moore in the fifth, reaching base on a single, but once again, the Phils were unable to take advantage with a runner on.
Onto the sixth where Archie Bradley entered the game, just his second appearance since being reinstated from his month-long IL stint. I suppose he was still shaking off the rust because he allowed a double, triple, and single before recording an out. Cooper’s triple allowed Corey Dickerson to score from second, and Cooper was able to come home on a Chad Wallach groundout. 5-0, Fish.
Needless to say, Bradley was not happy.
After another Marlins run scored on an error by Bohm in the seventh, Bradley was taken out of the game for Brandon Kintzler, and Segura came in to play second as Miller moved over to first. The infamous Girardi double-switch strikes again!
Alcantara finished with nine strikeouts, three walks, and allowed only two hits through six innings of work. Welp, at least it wasn’t a no-hitter. The Miami bullpen finished what Alcantara started, surrendering just one hit in three innings and striking out six.
Kintzler and Ranger Suárez quieted the Marlins’ bats in a combined 2.1 innings, though. So, that’s cool, I guess?
I also had to point out that Marlins pitcher Zach Pop struck out the side in the ninth, just because that’s a great name. I’ve never heard Pop as a last name before, but I love it.
The Phillies lost miserably, mustering just three hits in a shutout, but hey, at least they looked good doing it in the powder blues. And oh yeah, we’ve lost 4 of our last 5 and we’re back to .500 again. Haha. Please help.
What’s crazy is that this game wasn’t even close to being one of the worst the Phils have played against the Marlins. Remember the 19-11 game? Or did you attempt to block it out of your mind like I did, too?
Well, at least we don’t play the Marlins for another...three days? Yup! The Phils head to Miami for a four-game set against the Fish beginning Monday. It never ends.
Anyway, tomorrow’s a Nola day, and the Phils welcome the first-place in the AL East Boston Red Sox to Citizens Bank Park tomorrow night, the first of a three-game series. Godspeed, my friends!!!