By: Matthew Mack
The Philadelphia Phillies restarted their season by hosting the Miami Marlins for four games including a doubleheader on Friday.
In game one of the doubleheader, the Phillies picked up where they left off from before the break. In the first inning, Travis Jankowski’s bat died a hero. With the bases loaded, his dribbler went foul down the first base line, then came back into fair ground before going towards the outfield. In the process, all the runners scored while Jankowski sped his way to second base for a three-run RBI double. The Marlins responded. Jon Berti hit a double to right, scoring the speedy Jazz Chisholm, Jr. from first and Miguel Rojas came right behind him with a double to score Berti. Jankowski was not done. In the third, he kept his bat intact this time when he hit a drive to left to score Rhys Hoskins. Ronald Torreyes, filling in for Alec Bohm (COVID IL). Also gave the Phillies some insurance when he singled an RBI to bring the game at five to three. Matt Moore did not play around in four and one/third innings,he struck out nine batters while giving up six hits and two runs. Archie Bradley and Ranger Suárez teamed up from the bullpen to secure the win for Philadelphia.
In the night cap, it was all Miami. Though reliever Ross Detwiler started on the mound for the Fish for one inning, Jordan Holloway shut the Phillies down by allowing zero hits, he got six strikeouts and a pair of walks.On the first pitch, shortstop Didi Gregorious mishandled a routine ground ball, giving him the error. From there, the Marlins took advantage and didn’t even bother to look back. Starling Marte and Jesús Aguliar provided the all the offense as both hit multi-run home runs and knocked in a run each as Miami split the doubleheader seven-zero. Zach Eflin was not sharp at all. He gave up six runs, one of them was unearned. That included giving up a Marte homer in the first.
Saturday night, both teams were looking to get one up on each other in the series. The Phillies got it started, scoring first with an Andrew McCutchen sacrifice fly to center, scoring Jean Segura and an RBI double by Hoskins. It stayed that way for quite awhile. Thanks to Philly stranding runners in scoring position, including three instances where they stranded a runner at third. After the first inning, Miami hunkered down and the Phillies did not capitalize on opportunities and making great defensive plays. In the ninth, Suárez came in to close it. Aguliar had other plans as he slammed a game-tying home run for the Marlins. Giving the Phils another blown save and sending the game into extra innings. Before that would happen, the rains came and suspended the game for the next day.
Sunday afternoon, both teams would finish the game from the night before in the tenth. That game ended with a quickness as J.T. Realmuto slammed a bomb to right-center as he pumped his fist knowing that the winning run would score either way. Phils win despite the suspension four-two.
30 minutes later, the fourth game of the series started. Philadelphia needs this win for sure as the Mets fell apart Saturday night losing to the Pirates in walk-off fashion. The Marlins probably feel the same way as they are 8+ games out of first. In the first, Marlins second baseman Jazz Chisholm, Jr. left the game with a shoulder injury. The Phillies scored in the second due to a passed ball, scoring Torreyes. Realmuto later hit a hard grounder to short, eating up Miguel Rojas, and scoring Luke Williams in the process. Then the Fish loudly answered back with four runs which was started by Marte’s RBI double. Included was an Adam Duvall two-run blast to right, taking the lead, four-two. In the 5th, McCutchen eyes lit up as he smashed a no-doubter to left. Two hitters later, Gregorious joined the home run brigade when he lifted a hanging breaking ball to right to tie the game at four. The scoring continued when Segura gave himself up to score Jankowski to take back the lead. McCutchen tacked on his RBI count with a force out to second to extend the lead 6-4. Realmuto, in the 8th, added one more RBI to his stat sheet with a line drive to right. Hector Nerís came in the ninth for the first time in over three weeks to get the save and win the series to keep the hot momentum going with the score seven to four.
This team is rolling right now. The offense is really clicking on all cylinders. Even though they had trouble with runners in scoring position in this series, they have been compensating with good and timely pitching. I think that consistency that has been lacking all season has finally showed up. With the Phillies heading up to Yankee Stadium for a quick two game series on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Phils are taking their momentum with them on the road. The Yankees are not consistent as well. With the roster and the lineup they have, it is strange that they are where they are in the division. The Phillies are putting pressure on the Mets as this momentum continues to roll on. To be honest, this team may be onto something. After all, the Phils have the easiest schedule in baseball after the All-Star Break.