After years of frustration against the Miami Marlins followed by lackluster showings in the first two games of this year’s series, the Phillies burst out in a big way on Saturday night, defeating the Marlins by a score of 10-3.
The Phillies’ offense was supposed to be a strength, but for the most part it has underwhelmed early in the 2022 season. I’m not saying that it was all the fault of struggling leadoff man Kyle Schwarber, but with Schwarber on the bench for one night, the Phillies scored a season-high 10 runs. (And as we know, correlation always equals causation.)
With two outs in the first inning, it looked like the Phillies might be in for more of the same frustration. They loaded the bases, and scored one run on a sacrifice fly, but it looked like they were primed to waste another opportunity for a big inning. Thankfully, the Marlins helped them out by doing this:
All hell breaks lose when Nick Castellanos tried to steal second and the Phillies steal a run pic.twitter.com/A81NdRgTP9— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) April 16, 2022
In the second inning, the Phillies did something they haven’t done much of this season: Piled on. Powered by four doubles, the Phillies scored six runs in the frame.
The 2022 Phillies were expected to score a large chunk of runs via the home run, but they didn’t require a single homer to score their ten runs on Saturday. Instead, they got big games from a few players who were not off to good starts this year: Bryce Harper (One hit, two walks, two RBIs), Matt Vierling (Two hits), and Didi Gregorius (Two hits).
The game also featured another good day at the plate by Alec Bohm. Starting at designated hitter, Bohm went 2-3 with a sacrifice fly. Bohm now has a 1.067 OPS on the season, and it feels like he needs to play every day, if not at third base, then at designated hitter.
As for the pitching, Ranger Suarez was on the mound for the Phillies as he continues to build up his arm after a delayed start to Spring Training. Suarez didn’t have the cleanest outing - he allowed a baserunner in each of his five innings - but the only damage was courtesy of Jorge Soler’s two-run homer in the fifth. A trio of three relievers held the Marlins to one more run over the last four innings.
The optimist in me would like to think that this was a sign that the Phillies’ offense was finally shaping up into the powerhouse that we expected. I’d like to believe that the Phillies’ struggles against the Marlins were finally over, and the rivalry would finally start to tilt in the Phillies’ favor.
But would anyone be truly surprised if the Phillies were held to under three runs and dropped the series finale on Sunday? I didn’t think so.
10 runs. One for every plague. Nice work Phillies. Chag sameach everyone.— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) April 17, 2022