The Phillies (77-63) squandered a solid start by their sixth starter and dropped a very winnable 3-2 game to the desperate Miami Marlins (73-68) to kick off their seven-game homestand in bitter fashion.
After missing the last two games in San Diego so he could be home for the birth of his second child, Trea Turner was back in the lineup and picked up right where he left off.
Down 0-2 after fouling then swinging and missing the first two pitches from Marlins’ starter, Eury Perez, Turner connected on a slider down the middle for a solo shot to left field and an early 1-0 Phillies’ lead.
Turner padded his possible season record number of steals without being caught to 26 with a steal of second base after working a walk in the third inning. Two pitches later, Bryce Harper laced a single past second base to bring Turner home and extend the lead to 2-0.
Cristopher Sanchez worked a quality five innings, twice escaping two-on, one-out jams in the first and fourth frames.
Cristopher Sánchez, Nasty 83mph Changeup. pic.twitter.com/lkt4KpLGDR— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 8, 2023
But with a day off yesterday and a rested bullpen, Rob Thomson managed his pitching staff strategically for the high stakes game against a fellow wild card contender that this game was, bringing Seranthony Dominguez in to relieve Sanchez in the top of the sixth inning, after only 82 pitches and a scoreless line from the starter.
Marlins’ manager, Skip Schumaker, went step for step with Thomson’s tactical awareness by bringing in the left-handed hitting Jesus Sanchez to pinch hit for starting right fielder, Garrett Hampson, with two outs and a runner on first. After a balk by Dominguez advanced Bryan De La Cruz to second, Sanchez launched a 2-2 slider over the wall in right center field to tie it up at 2-2.
Pinch hit two-run blast from Jesús Sánchez ties it up! pic.twitter.com/e4hk3ygxfY— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) September 9, 2023
After coming in to finish off the sixth for Dominguez, Matt Strahm gave up a lead off solo shot to Marlins’ catcher, Jacob Stallings, to begin the seventh inning and break the deadlock.
Jacob Stallings - Miami Marlins (3) pic.twitter.com/EhE7jsXbzl— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) September 9, 2023
The offense worked the bases loaded in the bottom frame via a hit-by-pitch inflicted on Johan Rojas, a single by Kyle Schwarber and a two-out walk by Harper, but came up empty after Nick Castellanos grounded out weakly to short.
They could get nothing going against the rest of the Marlins’ relievers however, going down 1-2-3 in the eighth and ninth innings.
Thomson again worked out his playoff manager muscles by pinch hitting for Brandon Marsh with the right-handed hitting Cristian Pache to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning against Marlins’ lefty, Tanner Scott. Pache had a good look on a first-pitch fastball in the zone but just flubbed the connection, dropping a harmless fly ball into the left fielder’s glove. Scott induced a grounder from Johan Rojas before striking out Schwarber to end the ball game.
Hump game of the series is tomorrow night as Aaron Nola opposes Johnny Cueto.