The Marlins now have 13 wins on the season. Four have come against the Phillies. After showing signs of life against some of baseball’s best teams in recent weeks, the Phils offense laid an egg on Monday night in Miami, losing 5-1 to the Marlins and again leaving an effective Cole Hamels out to dry. Alex Sanabia notched the win for the Marlins and Justin Ruggiano provided two key RBIs.
HAMELS RETURNS TO FORM
– Apart from two mistakes, Hamels, now 1-7, was dominant on Monday night. He walked none and struck out 10 Marlins in only six innings before being removed for a pinch hitter. Pitch count (89 pitches) and command (67 strikes) were not an issue, unlike recent outings. Cole has now allowed three earned runs in 20 innings against the Fish, and has received a grand total of one run from his offense.
– With the free-swinging Marcell Ozuna buried in a 1-2 hole in the first inning, Hamels decided to stick with his fastball, which Ozuna stung up the middle, plating the Marlins first run. Some say that Hamels has shown an overreliance on the cutter this season… this was just the latest example of his pitch selection costing him.
– Hamels appeared to be very angry with himself after allowing an RBI double to Ruggiano in the sixth that put Miami ahead 2-1. But Cole really did look good – striking out double digits for the first time this year. He did it three times last year, fanning 10 each time. At one point, Hamels recorded eight of nine outs via punch out.
BULLPEN, DEFENSE PROBLEMS FOR PHILS
– Hamels departed trailing only 2-1, but Justin De Fratus and Phillippe Aumont couldn’t keep it close. In 1.2 innings, the right-handed duo combined for three earned runs on four hits to put the game out of reach.
– Michael Young couldn’t handle a pick-off attempt from Hamels in the fifth, which allowed Chris Coghlan to advance to second. While the error was charged to Hamels, it did not appear to be a difficult play. Young also allowed a Dom Brown throw from leftfield to get past him yesterday, but again, he was not charged with an error.
– On Ruggiano’s go-ahead double in the sixth, Delmon Young took an awful route to the ball, spinning his body and his wheels before finally heading in the right direction. While only a good right fielder makes that catch – which Young is far from – he could have prevented the run from scoring had he been there to catch the ball off the wall. Coincidentally, Ruggiano tracked down a laser off the bat of Young in the second, making a basket catch just short of the warning track in right center.
OFFENSE SPUTTERS AGAINST SANABIA
– The Phillies’ offense hit a new low on Monday night, getting shut down by the struggling Sanabia. Entering Monday, Sanabia had allowed 63 hits and 24 walks in 51.1 innings. The Phils totaled seven hits and two walks, incomprehensibly swinging at the first pitch in 16 of their 35 at-bats. Marlins pitchers needed only 118 pitches to get through nine innings. Two double plays killed leadoff singles for the Phils and they were unable to capitalize on a first-and-third with one out situation in the seventh.
– Domonic Brown hit a first-pitch, hanging change-up from Sanabia over the right field wall in the second inning to knot the score at one. Brown, who now leads the team in homers with eight, has been very patient against right-handers and very aggressive against lefties. In this at-bat it was the exact opposite, so it’s good to see him keep pitchers guessing.
– Brown stole a bag in the fourth inning, giving him two steals in the past two games. While replays showed he might have been out, Brown is now two-for-two on stolen base attempts this season. He notched double digit steals six times in the minors, so it’ll be interesting to see if more will come as he gains confidence.
DID YOU NOTICE?
– Ben Revere, batting second, appears to be back in Charlie Manuel’s good graces, as he was slotted in the top half of the lineup for the third straight game. After an awful April, Revere entered Monday hitting .406 in May before going 0-for-4 on the night.
– Revere failed to execute a hit-and-run in the first, hitting a ball right at second base (as opposed to the open hole at shortstop), which resulted in a double play. The speedy Revere has grounded into an unfathomable six twin-killings this season in only 126 at-bats. He hit into eight in 2012 and seven in 2011.
– Hamels allowed an easy steal to Adeiny Hechavarria in the first inning, which has seemed to happen a lot this year. He has let up eight steals in 2013, putting him on pace to allow around 29 this year. His previous totals over the last six years, starting with 2012; 23, 23, 10, 18, 15 and 14.
– After allowing a leadoff triple to Coghlan in the second, Hamels got two pop ups and a strikeout to escape the inning unscathed. After covering what seemed like 40 yards, Ben Revere got his glove on the ball but was unable to make the catch.