By: Matthew Mack
Coming back home from a split in Queens and an embarrassing loss in a make-up game in Cincinnati. The Philadelphia Phillies faced the Miami Marlins in a three-game series.
Game one of the series, the Phillies jumped in front in the first inning with Andrew McCutchen stroking a line drive RBI single to score Jean Segura, who returned from the Injured List. More scoring occured in the sixth and seventh innings with Rhys Hoskins powering one over the left center field fence for a solo home-run and Odúbel Herrera raising his slugging percentage by hitting a double to bring home Brad Miller. Also, Herrera created his own instant offense by scoring a run on a wild pitch. In those seven innings, Vinnie Velasquez was lights out. He struck out seven and allowed two hits, who could ask for more? In the book of baseball managing, you would normally go to the back end of your bullpen to slam the door and end the game. With this team, what are those? With the game at 4-0, the Phillies did that. Add a wild pitch here and an Adam Duvall two-run homer there in the ninth, Miami is back in the game. Thankfully, Jose Alvarado came to his senses and got the save to win it for the Phils’ four to three.
Wednesday night, the Marlins started the scoring in the second with a Joe Panik solo home run. In the bottom of the second, the Phils returned the favor with a four run fourth of their own. Bryce Harper hit another solo homer to start the scoring. Nick Maton ripped an RBI triple, scoring two in the play. Herrera sacrificed himself, scoring Maton with a fly to left. Miami responded in the fourth with a solo home run by Adam Duvall. The Phillies continued their run with a RBI by Jean Segura in the other side of the inning. Though Aaron Nola struggled in spots, he managed to save himself. Striking out 11, and giving up seven runs in his outing. With the bat, he managed to work two walks. However, in the fifth, every fan in Citizens Bank Park felt the game slip away.
The Marlins had a big inning scoring six. Once again, the relief pitchers gave away runs. Neftali Perez showed why he was bounced from team to team giving up those runs. When Philadelphia started to respond, the rain came. After the rain delay, hopes were dashed even more as the Marlins added more runs later in the game. Harper hit another solo bomb in the right field upper deck to try to put a dent in the deficit but it was not enough. 11 to six was the final.
Thursday night was a wash as rain continued on, postponing the game to July 16 for a doubleheader.
Harper’s home runs are all solo home runs. His 13 HR 23 RBI is of major concern. The man needs baserunners to produce. Normally, you would see at least 35+ RBIs at this point in the season. Not here. The Phillies knew what we knew all along. Like all the other teams before, Neftali Perez is not what he was back when he was the Rookie of the Year in 2011 with the Texas Rangers. They designated him for assignment. The starters are pitching well. The bullpen is struggling. It’s a meltdown waiting to happen in each game. Frustrations are mounting and the division is up for grabs. At this rate, should fans care? With a team performing horribly.. It will be interesting to see what the Phillies front office will do. I anticipate really much of nothing. As their next opponent is not just the San Diego Padres. Try Slam Diego with Fernando Tatis, Jr. Don’t hold your breath.