Phillies Shut Out in Spoiler Sweep Attempt
By Matt Veasey
The Philadelphia Phillies were shut out by the host Miami Marlins in the finale of a three game series in South Florida on Wednesday night.
The Phillies went down to South Florida trying to both right their own ship and sink that of the division rival Miami Marlins.
The Phils captured the series by winning the first two ballgames. However, the host Fish avoided being swept with a 6-0 whitewashing in the Wednesday night series finale.
Marlins starting pitcher Andrew Cashner labored through his 5.1 innings, throwing just 61 strikes in 102 total pitches.
However, the Phils were never able to break through with the clutch hit they needed, and the veteran emerged without allowing a run, striking out nine while surrendering just four hits.
The Phillies got the first two runners of the game aboard, but failed to capitalize in the 1st inning. They had runners at 1st and 2nd with one out in the 3rd, and again failed to score. A Peter Bourjos double to lead off the 5th, and nothing.
Meanwhile, the Marlins chipped away at Phillies starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson, scoring single runs in the 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 6th frames to open up a 4-0 lead.
Hellickson came into this game with a 2-0 mark over four starts this season against Miami. He had allowed just 19 hits while striking out 17 in 25.1 innings against the Marlins in those starts. But on this night, the hosts finally solved him.
Ichiro Suzuki tripled with one out in the bottom of the 1st, and came in to score on a Martin Prado ground out. Ichiro had a pair of hits on the night, raising his career total to 3,021 total hits in Major League Baseball.
The Marlins scored each of those first four runs on outs. In addition to Prado’s grounder in the 1st, they received a sac fly from J.T. Realmuto in the 2nd, one from Prado in the 5th, and then the fourth run scored as Realmuto hit into a double play in the bottom of the 6th inning.
Hellickson would allow the four runs, three of them earned, on nine hits over the course of his six innings pitched. He walked no one, and threw 51 strikes among an economical 71 pitches.
“I made too many mistakes early in the count, especially the first couple of innings; one to Ichiro just a lazy changeup, and Ozuna the next inning, you can’t give up extra-base hits to lead off innings,” Hellickson said per MLB.com contributors.
“It’s my fifth start against them,” he said. “So I have an idea what I want to do, they have an idea of what I want to do. I just left too many balls up there early in the game.”
Don Mattingly turned to his bullpen for the final 3.2 innings, and his relief corps of Mike Dunn, Kyle Barraclough, A.J. Ramos, and Austin Brice each proceeded to keep the Phillies off the scoreboard.
In the bottom of the 7th, Prado and Christian Yelich supplied RBI doubles off Phils’ rookie lefty Patrick Schuster to extend the Marlins lead out to the final 6-0 score.
The only real offensive spark on the night for the Fightin’ Phils was leadoff man Cesar Hernandez, who contributed a pair of hits and a walk.
Hernandez continues a strong second half of the season. Since July 20th, the 2nd baseman is hitting for a .312/.423/.471 slash line with 26 runs scored and 10 steals over 189 plate appearances.
The Phillies now travel to our nation’s capital for a four-game long weekend set with the NL East-leading Washington Nationals.
Alec Asher will get the start in the Thursday night opener, his first big league appearance of the season. It is likely that Asher will now join Hellickson, Adam Morgan, Jerad Eickhoff, and Jake Thompson in the regular rotation for the rest of the season.