Another day, another quiet offensive performance for your new look Philadelphia Phillies. Well, it wasn’t actually that quiet. The Phils tallied 11 hits in this one, but were just unable to capitalize in big spots, only putting up 3 runs against the 1-4 (now 2-4) Miami Marlins. Sandy Alcantara started for Miami, and despite getting into some early trouble and giving up 7 hits on the night, was able to dance out of danger to a stat line of 6.1 IP, 2 ER, and 5 Ks. The Phillies got what looked to be another strong start from Kyle Gibson, but the bottom of the 4th saw Gibson’s start come unglued, as he allowed 3 runs in the frame including a bomb of a home run from Garrett Cooper. Surprisingly, Manager Joe Girardi decided to stick with Gibson for the 5th inning, and the Marlins were able to scrape what would end up being the winning run across before Philadelphia went to the pen.
The bullpen was much better tonight for Philly than it was in the back end of the Mets series, as Andrew Bellatti, James Norwood, Brad Hand, and Corey Knebel all combined to keep the Marlins to just 1 hit in the final 3.1 innings, but the damage already done would be enough. A 2 RBI double in the 7th inning off the bat of Bryce Harper made this one interesting, but the winning blow was never delivered in favor of the away team in this one. The most troubling takeaway from tonight’s action has to be the performance of Matt Vierling so far this season in CF. He is still hitless on the year, and that .000 avg. next to his name becomes more and more glaring with every passing game. On top of his issues at the dish, he had a costly fielding mishap in the 4th that helped contribute to the Marlins’ big inning when he seemed to pull up early on a fly ball that was close to the wall in left center. It may be time to give Simon Muzziotti a longer look at CF, or even possibly to find another option to step in until Mickey Moniak is healthy.
The biggest bright spots on the night were Bryce Harper’s 3 RBI night and JT Realmuto’s 4 for 4 game in the 2 hole. Hopefully this is a break through game for Realmuto, who is now batting .360 on the year. He had shown signs of heating up late in the Mets series, and isn’t showing signs of slowing down. Harper’s 3 RBIs are also nice, but he’ll need some help from other contributors if the Phillies are going to start winning more than they lose. The Phils fell to 3-4 on the year with the loss, while the Marlins improved to 2-4. Game 2 of this 4 game set will be tomorrow at 6:40PM with Zach Eflin facing Pablo Lopez.