By: Matthew Mack
The Phillies played the Marlins for a four-game set in which the Phils lost four of the last five games going into a nine game road trip. Before the road trip even began, they were bitten by the injury bug. From Didi Gregorius (right elbow) to J.T. Realmuto (left hand contusion), this team is suffering injuries with a deep division that is close at the early point of the season.
In the first game, the Marlins scored a combined seven runs from the 6th to 8th, extending the lead to 9-2. Much of it was thanks to Corey Dickerson’s triple to right, scoring two and three-run home run by Jesus Aguliar to put the game out of reach. The Phils did put up a fight in the 9th but it was not enough as they lost 9-6 to the Marlins. Zach Eflin did what he could, striking out six while giving up four runs, three of them earned.
Game two of the series, all the Phillies needed was Rhys Hoskins two-run homer and the pitching staff to hold off the Marlins. Vince Velasquez, who is having a solid season since being called from the bullpen to start, pitched six innings, scattering three hits, five strikeouts and three walks. Hector Neris closed in the 9th to pick up the save. All the while Bryce Harper was put on the 10-day IL with a left forearm contusion.
The next night, the Phillies had a 2-1 lead after five. Brad Miller walked in a run in the 3rd and Hoskins hit a sacrifice fly to right, sending in Jean Segura to score in the 5th. Aaron Nola did his job pitching six innings and striking out six while giving up two hits and walking three. Everything was going well until the 8th inning when Sam Coonrod came in and things fell apart. A wild pitch moved two runners into scoring position and later scored two runs, blowing the save and the game with a 4-2 loss.
In the afternoon game on YouTube, Hoskins smashed one over the fence in the 4th for his 11th of season to draw first blood. Matt Joyce later in the inning hit a sacrifice fly to score Odubel Herrera. The Phillies did score a run when the game was tied at 2-2. Ronald Torreyes beat out a double play scoring Herrera to take the lead. Marlins challenged the call but was upheld. Neris saved the game (9th of the season) and gave the Phils the win
The Phillies split the series in Miami and missed an opportunity to really do damage in the division. With a short bench and injuries mounting, manager Joe Girardi has a challenge to mitigate as he tries to steer this ship in the right direction. The concern is the lack of offensive production and the defense. Going into Tampa Bay for the weekend, the Phils face the best team in AL right now and they need all the runs and best pitching along with the defense to keep up.