The Philadelphia Phillies sent the closest thing they have to an Ace this season, in veteran RHP Jeremy Hellickson (10-8, 3.88 ERA), to the hill to attempt to finish off a sweep of the Miami Marlins, facing RHPAndrew Cashner (4-11, 5.00).
Miami had other ideas as they saw their wild card chances (6.0 back coming into tonight) slowly slipping away. Persistent hitting by the Marlins and some sloppy defense and unclutchable offense by the Phillies (0-7 RISP) all added up to a 6-0 beat down by the Fish.
The Phils did start off by getting the first two batters on for the second night in a row, but unlike last night they did not cash in on this opportunity. This would turn out to be the theme of the evening as they had two on in the 3rd inning as well with one out, and once again came away empty.
The Marlins though, after Ichiro – he just 😍 to hit against the Phillies – tripled, with one out and was plated by a ground out. This would turn out to be the only run they would need. They would pile it on scoring single runs in the 2nd, 5th and 6th innings, and then a two spot in the 7th off of the Phillies pen.
Again just like last night the Phillies threatened in the first three odd innings, but Cashner came up with a big K or in the case of the 5th, Aaron Altherr was caught stealing 2nd base with two outs and men on 1st and 3rd.
Cashner was pulled after giving up a hit with one out in the 5th, but the Marlins stocked up on BP arms for the stretch run. The Phillies did not score on them last night or on the last three used the night before that, and that trend continued tonight.
Cashner got the W improving to 5-11, 4.77 ERA, going 5.1 In, 4H, 0R, 2BB, 9K, 102 pitches. 61 for strikes. Hellickson was not sharp in this L, falling to 10-9, 3.90, though he did go 6In, 9H, 4R, 3 earned, 0BB, 1K, 75 pitches – 51 for strikes.
End Notes: Not much of note in the flustrating phails by the Phillies hitters against another mediocre pitcher and pen, and no Phillies pitcher was a standout.
Next Ups: The Phillies head to DC tomorrow for a 4 game set. RHP Alec Asher, just off his suspension, will get his first MLB start this season. He is still looking for his first MLB W. For the Natinals it will be RHP A. J. Cole (1-1, 3.86 ERA) at the more traditional 7:05. The first three projected Phillies starters were all a part of the Cole Hamels trade.