Can you say deja vu?
For the second straight night, the Phillies took a 1-1 tie deep into their game against the Miami Marlins. This time, however, the Marlins would come out on top, scratching out a 2-1 victory to push the Phillies back under .500
THE OFFENSE GOES DORMANT
– During this Phillies era, a common theme has been offensive ineffectiveness when facing a young rookie they’ve never seen before. Without a comprehensive scouting report, it seems this team simply can’t hit young pitching. The issue reared its ugly head again tonight, as the Phils’ bats looked anemic against the 20-year old Jose Fernandez, making just his second career start.
Fernandez kept the Phils off balance all night, twirling a dazzling six innings, while striking out five and allowing just five baserunners. Domonic Brown was particularly excited to see Fernandez exit the game after the sixth, as he had struck out twice against the righthander before singling as soon as Fernandez was lifted. The hit would prove beneficial.
– Erik Kratz has been particularly bad hitting with runners on base. That would continue in the sixth inning, when he came up with two on and one out, rolling over on a pitch and hitting a dead-doubleplay ball to shortstop. The Phils caught a break, though, when second baseman Donovan Solano‘s throw to first sailed, allowing Brown to cross home and tie the game. It was a gift from the Marlins, but the struggling Phillies offense would take it. They’d leave the bases loaded to end the inning, and wouldn’t come close to scoring another run.
COLE GETS BACK ON TRACK
– For all the talk about how bad Roy Halladay has been, Cole Hamels hadn’t been much better coming into tonight’s start. Through 10.2 innings, he had allowed 13 runs while striking out just seven. He’d also given up four home runs. This caused some to begin wondering if everything was alright with the 29-year old staff ace. Hamels stopped those questions tonight.
– He started the ball game with a strikeout and cruised from there, throwing a crisp six innings before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the top of the seventh.
– The Marlins got a run in the fifth following a two-out triple by Adeiny Hechavarria and a single by the pitcher, Fernandez. The hits were the first and only ones King Cole allowed all night. The momentary lapse in concentration would be the only blip on Hamels’s line. The run, which made it 1-0, would mark the first time the Marlins led a game at Marlins Park this season.
– Hamels final line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. It wasn’t a performance for the ages, but it was the type of bounce-back outing Hamels needed. For the second straight night, the Phillies got a solid six innings from their starter. This time, they simply couldn’t capitalize on it.
THE BEST RELIEVERS THROW ZEROES
– Last night, the Phillies bullpen turned in four scoreless innings as they helped the team to victory. Some of their best relievers kept that trend going tonight, shutting down the Marlins’ bats. Antonio Bastardo had his second straight 1-2-3 inning and Mike Adams struck out two in a perfect eighth.
THE MARLINS WALK-OFF ON AUMONT
– In a tense ninth inning, Phillippe Aumont walked the leadoff hitter and allowed a single to work himself into a first and third situation with no outs. After recording a strikeout, Aumont induced a groundball hit right at Chase Utley. Utley couldn’t field it cleanly, though, and the winning run came home for the Marlins. The play was ruled an error, making the loss even more frustrating.
– The Phillies wasted a great night of pitching from their staff. When your pitching allows just two runs, especially against an inferior Marlins team, the offense has to find a way to get it done. They didn’t tonight, and the team falls to 5-6. The team is 4-for-20 with RISP this series.