Two days ago, the Phillies were on a six-game winning streak and it looked like they were finally ready to make a real push towards the top of the National League East standings. Two games against the Marlins later, we all realize how stupid we were to ever hope this team had a real chance. They’ve now lost two straight to the last place Marlins, with Saturday night’s 3-2 loss being one of those games that you’ll point to when you’re trying to figure out exactly why the Phillies missed the playoffs this year.
Archie Bradley is going to get the majority of the blame for this one, and to be sure, he deserves it. He was tasked with protecting a two-run lead - which is the typical job of the team’s setup man - and he did not protect it. He didn’t even allow the Marlins to just tie the game. Instead, he gave up a two-run home run to Lewis Brinson (who?) that put the Marlins in front 3-2.
But let’s save some blame for the Phillies’ hitters who scored a meager two runs against a not especially good Marlins pitching staff. Starting pitcher Trevor Rogers has given them issues all year, but he was out of the game after 4.1 innings, and the Phillies didn’t do anything against all of the relievers who followed him.
The Phillies got one of their runs via an Andrew McCutchen home run, and got another thanks to an RBI by pitcher Suarez. Aside from that, there wasn’t much production from the offense. When half of your runs came courtesy of the pitcher, the hitters should definitely be holding themselves responsible.
Let’s also give some blame to manager Joe Girardi who took starting pitcher Ranger Suarez out of the game after five innings and just 71 pitches, necessitating the need for four different relievers. Which meant there were four different opportunities some someone to have a bad night. (In this case, Archie Bradley.) And for some reason, he didn’t use one of his beloved double switches which would have allowed Hector Neris - dominant in his one inning - to pitch another.
The Phillies will try to avoid being swept by the last place Marlins on Sunday afternoon. They’ve already decided to bump Zack Wheeler from the start, so they’ll likely rely on a bullpen game. If you’re feeling confident about the Phillies chances in that one, then you are a far more optimistic fan than I am.