Final Score: Marlins 3, Phillies 2
With the Braves, Reds and Padres all looking to bounce back after losses on Friday, the Phillies simply had to follow suit. This was must-win baseball, and high time to end their peculiar struggles at loanDepot Park. But alas, the Phillies managed to find yet another new and interesting way to fall to the Miami Marlins.
Tonight featured the uncommon matchup of two lefties taking the baseball, with Ranger Suárez and Trevor Rogers duelling it out.
It wasn’t until the fourth inning that the first runs arrived, with the Phillies offense finding some big hits. Andrew McCutchen took a Rogers fastball on the outer half, and slammed it 404 ft into the AutoNation Alley Deck, opening the scoring for the Phils.
Later in the inning, Rogers had some trouble maneuvering through the bottom of the Phillies’ order, with the seventh-hitting Gregorius walking and advancing to second base on an errant pickoff attempt. With first base open, Rogers then intentionally walked Ronald Torreyes to face Suárez with two on and two out. Suárez looped a double down the left-field line, kicking chalk up off the line. The Phillies extended their lead to 2-0.
Odúbel Herrera had a golden opportunity to follow that up by adding at least one more run, batting with two in scoring position, though he failed to capitalize.
Jean Segura led off the fifth inning with a single, which was essentially the final nail in the coffin for Rogers’ outing. Don Mattingly let Rogers face Harper for the lefty-lefty matchup, before opting for the bullpen.
Suárez was pulled surprisingly early, not taking the mound in the sixth inning, despite only throwing 71 pitches. Girardi told reporters after the game that Suárez dealt with some tricep tiredness.
For the next two innings, the Phillies bullpen did its best Ranger impression, with Neris and Brogdon both lights-out tonight. Neither allowed a hit, but the Marlins exploded when Archie Bradley took the baseball in the eighth inning. On Bradley’s first pitch — a four-seamer down the middle — Bryan De La Cruz lined a double over Bryce Harper’s head. On his third pitch — also a four-seamer down the middle — Miguel Rojas drove in De La Cruz, on a grounder just beyond the diving grasp of Segura.
With the lead cut to one, Bradley bounced back for a moment, striking out the next two. He managed to freeze Jesús Aguilar with a four-seamer down the middle after serving him a steady diet of the sinker and knuckle curve. However, on the very next pitch, Lewis Brinson struck a ball off the right field foul pole, giving the Marlins a 3-2 lead. Bradley threw yet another fastball down the middle.
The backbreaking two-run home run for Brinson immediately put the Phillies in a grim position, with the bottom of the order becoming their final hope in the top of the ninth.
Gregorius led off the ninth with a single the other way, but a pair of failed double play attempts dimmed the Phillies’ chances to do damage. With pinch hitter Travis Jankowski representing the tying run at first, Herrera struck out on a 2-2 count to end the game.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
Ranger Suárez: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO, 71 pitches
Suárez once again looked outstanding tonight, scattering just two hits and two walks through five innings. He tied his career high in strikeouts in just the fourth inning, when he confidently struck out the side. His sudden exit after five innings was somewhat jarring, though Girardi later attributed the move to a bit of arm fatigue.
Trevor Rogers: 4 1/3 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 83 pitches
Making his return after a one-month family-related hiatus, Trevor Rogers looked strong through the first three innings, only allowing three singles and striking out three. The wheels started to come off in the fourth, with the McCutchen home run and Suárez double. However, it was an admirable showing, returning from such a long absence.
Phillies Nugget Of The Game
Héctor Neris tossed his eighth consecutive scoreless appearance tonight. Beginning on August 20, he’s thrown 6 2/3 innings in that stretch, only allowing two hits and four walks.
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Sunday, Sept. 5 vs. Miami Marlins at loanDepot Park
- 1:10 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC Sport Philadelphia
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP
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