The Phillies’ (22-17) offense was able to scatter 10 hits on Monday night at Citizens Bank Park, but struggles with runners in scoring position doomed them to a 5-3 loss in the first of the three-game set against the Miami Marlins (21-17).
Jerad Eickhoff (1-6, 4.44 ERA) got the start for the home team and took the loss for the 5th time in his last six appearances. Eickhoff can’t take much of the blame though, as he did throw a quality start, giving up three earned runs while striking out four in six innings of work.
Miami’s first hit of the game came from a 2nd inning solo home run by Marcell Ozuna which made the score 1-0. Tyler Goeddel tied the game at one with an RBI single in the 4th, but back to back strikeouts by Eickhoff and Peter Bourjos stranded Freddy Galvis at second base to end the inning. Miami added single runs in the 5th and 6th innings, and scored two more in the 7th off relievers Andrew Bailey and Elvis Araujo to take a seemingly insurmountable 5-1 lead.
The Phillies’ offense wasn’t quite finished yet, though. Carlos Ruiz picked up an RBI on a fielder’s choice out in the bottom of the 7th to make it 5-2, but Tommy Joseph struck out with two in scoring position to cancel another threat. Joseph did get one highlight though, as he scored his first MLB hit with a single in the 6th.
After Colton Murray and David Hernandez each pitched scoreless innings of relief, the Phillies saved a little bit of drama for the bottom of the 9th when Maikel Franco just missed pulling a ball to left field for what would have been a game-tying three-run homer. He still picked up an RBI for the sacrifice fly, but it wasn’t enough, as Ruiz struck out looking to end the game.
- Missed opportunities–the Phils left 10 men on base on the night and went 1-13 with runners in scoring position. Seven men were stranded in scoring position with two outs.
- Too many walks–while Eickhoff only walked two in his six innings, the bullpen combined for five more and not a single Phillies pitcher made it through the game without giving up at least one free pass. Hopefully this was just an anomaly, as the pitching staff on a whole had been in the top 10 in fewest walks allowed going into the game.
- Goedell was able to continue his mini hot-streak, finishing 3-4 to raise his average to .241. Odubel Herrera continued to do his thing, going 3-5. He’s now #5 in the National League in BA with a mark of .343.
- Both teams have been very evenly matched so far this year. In addition to being neighbors in the current NL East standings, the season series now stands at 2-2. The Marlins have outscored the Phillies 19-17 over the four games.
The series continues Tuesday night as Vince Velasquez (4-1, 2.70 ERA) takes the hill for the Phillies. He’ll be opposed by Wei-Yin Chen (3-1, 4.40 ERA). The Phillies faced Chen down in Miami just ten days ago, and were able to score four runs off him in five innings. They’ll hope for more success against Chen tomorrow. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.