The Philadelphia Phillies were crushed in a series finale by the Miami Marlins on Thursday night at Citizens Bank Park.
The host Phillies were routed by the NL East Division rival Miami Marlins by a 9-3 score in a series finale on Thursday night at Citizens Bank Park.
With the victory, the Fish captured three of four games in this series, raising their overall record to 52-43. They control the final NL Wildcard playoff spot by one game, and trail the first place Washington Nationals by just 4.5 games.
For the Fightin’ Phils, there was not much fight in this final game of a 2-5 homestand that pretty much sealed their 2016 fate. The club now stands at 44-53, nine games out of a postseason berth.
After three scoreless frames, the visitors broke on top with a four-spot in the top of the 4th inning against Phils’ starting pitcher Jerad Eickhoff, who was not on his game on this night.
Eickhoff (6-11) yielded five earned runs, six total, on nine hits over just five innings. He did strike out six and walk none, but was simply hit around by the Marlins.
Christian Yelich led off that 4th with his 9th home run of the season. Marcel Ozuna followed with a double, then Eickhoff hit Derek Dietrich with a pitch to put two runners aboard. Chris Johnson chased Ozuna home with an RBI double.
Dietrich scored on a ground out, and then Adeiny Hechavarria doubled to score Johnson. The Marlins had erupted for four extra base hits off Eickhoff, and had suddenly taken a 4-0 lead.
The Phillies quickly regained some momentum in the bottom of the frame when Ryan Howard drove his 14th home run of the season out to the opposite field. The 371st long ball of his career was a two-run shot that cut the Miami lead in half at 4-2.
Unfortunately, Eickhoff could not hold the Marlins down, giving those two runs right back in the top of the 5th inning.
Martin Prado and Yelich singled to start the frame, and then Eickhoff uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Prado to score. One out later, Dietrich singled to bring home Yelich and it was back to a four-run lead for the Marlins.
The game remained a 6-2 affair into the top of the 8th when Miami tacked on three more to end any hopes of a Phillies late game comeback.
Daniel Stumpf replaced Andrew Baily, who had tossed a pair of scoreless innings, on the mound for the Phils. He immediately gave up a triple to Jeff Mathis, and out batter later Marlins’ pitcher Tom Koehler rapped an RBI single to make it 7-2.
Ichiro Suzuki then grounded his second hit of the night and the 2,996th of the MLB career. Three batters later, Ozuna delivered a two-run single to give the Marlins a 9-2 lead.
Koehler gave Miami a masterful outing, going eight innings over which he allowed just one earned run and two hits, striking out five and walking one batter.
In the bottom of the 8th, Freddy Galvis lined his 9th home run of the season off the Marlins’ righty to lead off the frame and to finish the scoring at 9-3.
“I don’t know man, it’s crazy,” said Galvis per MLB.com contributors in regards to the Phillies struggles to score runs at home. “We were talking about it. I don’t know if we try to do too much here at home, but every time we go on the road, we click, man. Everything goes good, you know?”
“I don’t know if it’s a little bit of us trying to do too much here. And if we’re trying to do too much, it’s not going to happen. We have to just let it go and do what we have to do, and that’s it.”
The Phillies will now head out for a 10-game road trip to Pittsburgh, Miami, and Atlanta, not returning home until August 2nd, the day after the MLB non-waiver trade deadline. It is a near certainty that at least a couple of those who leave on the trip won’t be coming back with the team.