The Phillies offense has been slow to get going this season, and a matchup against the defending Cy Young Award winner didn’t figure to make things better.
We figured wrong. The Phillies scored nine runs against Sandy Alcantara and tacked on six more against reliever Devin Smeltzer. Combined with an excellent outing from reliever-turned-starter Matt Strahm, the Phillies emerged with a lopsided 15-3 win over the Marlins.
The bats were quiet the first two innings, with the Phillies going down in order. Starting in the third, the bats were quiet no more. The scoring was kicked off by an unexpected source: Jake Cave hitting his first home run of the year.
Later in the inning, the Phillies strung together a two-out rally that plated four more runs. After a scoreless fourth, they led off the fifth inning with four straight singles that chased Alcantara. Smeltzer entered the game and Brandon Marsh greeted him thusly:
Smeltzer was left in the game to absorb some innings for the Marlins, and the Phillies didn’t go easy on him. They added four more in the sixth, thanks in part to Alec Bohm’s third home run of the year (part of a three-hit night), and even Cristian Pache got into the action with an RBI single in the seventh.
The scoring was capped by Brandon Marsh’s third hit of the night in the eighth inning. (Against a lefty, no less!)
The 15th run of the game courtesy of Brandon Marsh's second dinger of the year. pic.twitter.com/I3LpL17dWm— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) April 11, 2023
It will be overshadowed by the offensive explosion, but Strahm had an excellent night in his own right. He worked out of a little trouble in the early innings, but ultimately delivered five scoreless innings. The Marlins got a few back against reliever McKinley Moore in the seventh, but they never seriously threatened.
This being baseball, and this being the Phillies, there’s a good chance that they will struggle to score runs on Tuesday, and we’ll wish they had spread out the scoring a little more evenly. But I won’t deny that it was a lot of fun watching them go against one of the best pitchers in baseball and beating the absolute snot out of him.