Ain’t no stopping them now: Phillies 7, Marlins 4

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The Good Phight 18 July, 2021 - 05:10pm 3 views

Why was Phillies game suspended today?

Published July 18, 2021. Updated on July 18, 2021 at 5:50 am. The game between the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night was suspended due to rain with no outs in the top of the 10th inning. The game will resume at 1:05 p.m. on Sunday, followed by the regularly scheduled series finale. NBC 6 South FloridaMarlins-Phillies Game Suspended Due to Rain, Will Resume Sunday

Did the Phillies win the first game of the doubleheader?

MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Travis Jankowski drove in four runs, Matt Moore struck out nine while pitching into the fifth inning, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Miami Marlins 5-2 in the first game of a doubleheader on Friday. ... Miguel Rojas had three hits and drove in a run for Miami. CBS MiamiMarlins Lose To Phillies In Game 1 Of Double Header 5-2

Phillies’ earn a comeback victory and momentum might actually be on their side

Fortunately, the Phillies did not come out flat. Instead, thanks to contributions from players both expected and not, they earned a comeback victory over the Marlins 7-4.

The Marlins’ defense looked a lot like the Phillies’ (read: bad) in the second inning, when an infield single and passed ball gave the Phillies their first run. Then, coming off his early game heroics, J.T. Realmuto added to that lead with an RBI single.

A two-run lead is modest, but when Zack Wheeler is on the mound, that’s usually plenty. Wheeler pitched five excellent innings on Sunday, the problem being that he was in the game for six. He struggled in the third inning, giving up four runs, two of them coming off the bat of Adam Duvall.

adios, baseball. pic.twitter.com/DvcTRD7BON

Fortunately, Wheeler was able to shake that off and keep the Marlins off the board for the next three innings, giving the offense a chance to mount a comeback.

And mount a comeback they did. The offense finally seemed to realize that the Marlins’ pitchers were not that good, and started sending balls into the seats. Home runs by Andrew McCutchen and Didi Gregorius tied things up.

See ya. #RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/QRln96opHv

The Phillies used productive outs to take the lead in the sixth. They scored one run via Jean Segura sacrifice fly (one of two runs scored by Travis Jankowski), and another on a bases loaded groundout by McCutchen. And then Realmuto capped off his excellent day with an insurance RBI in the seventh.

The Phillies bullpen and three-run leads aren’t always a good combination, but Connor Brogdon, Bailey Falter, and Hector Neris were able to close it out without incident.

This was truly a team win. They got contributions from stars (Realmuto, Wheeler), the usual supporting cast (McCutchen, Segura), and even some less-expected sources (Jankowski, Neris).

The Phillies have now won their last four series. Does that mean they actually have some momentum on their side? And will that momentum carry over through Monday’s off-day into the upcoming two-game set at Yankee Stadium? It would be nice if that was the case, but based on recent history, we shouldn’t count on it.

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Analysis: Sizing up the NL East for the rest of the season

Amazin' Avenue 19 July, 2021 - 07:01am

The Mets have a 3.5 game lead entering the second half. Can they hold off their divisional opponents for the rest of the year?

One half of the season gone, and so far the Phillies have had a decent offense but have been undone by their pitching, the Nationals have suffered a number of injuries exposing their depth while having a disaster of a starting rotation, and the Marlins have pitched extremely well but haven’t hit enough to support it. Suffice to say those three teams have turned out pretty much as expected, but the big surprise in the division has been the Braves, who have struggled to even get to .500 in the first half, which almost nobody saw coming.

That means the Mets, sitting at 47-40, have a 3.5 game lead in the division despite not exactly being world-beaters themselves for the first three months of the season. But since the rest of the NL East is comprised of three teams just hovering around .500 and the Marlins, Fangraphs currently gives the Mets a 75.1% chance to win the division, which is the highest percentage change they’ve had to win the division since they last won the division in 2015. However, things can change quickly. So how do things stack up going forward? Let’s have a look at which NL East rivals have the best chance unseat the Mets from the top spot in the second half of the season.

The Phillies are currently the closest team to the Mets in the standings, and figure to pose the best threat to them going forward. Their offense, much like the Mets’ offense, has suffered through a lot of injuries this year. But now that they, also like the Mets, are mostly healthy (COVID-list players aside) they’ll likely start hitting much more than they have.

Pitching is what has been really holding the Phillies down, and it’s pretty ugly. Zack Wheeler has been sparkling and Zach Eflin has been solid enough, but Aaron Nola has struggled to a 4.53 ERA in the first half and has not looked himself. The other two starters in their rotation are Matt Moore and Vince Velasquez, both of whom have ERAs over 5.

The bullpen is not much better, and we’ve seen that first-hand. Ranger Suarez, Connor Brogdon, and Archie Bradley have pitched solidly enough for them, but none of them are particularly fantastic either, and the rest of this bullpen is a toss-up any time they take the mound. Héctor Neris has had some serious blowups, Josè Alvarado is walking nearly 20 percent of the hitters he’s facing, and the rest of them are just bad.

The Phillies have played better as of late against some tough competition, but their best route to overtaking the Mets for the division is still likely to work a trade for at least one starter and a few relievers to plug the holes. We’ve seen teams win in spite of their bullpens (2019 Nationals), so it’s not a guarantee to assume the Phillies can’t win with an unpredictable bullpen. But they have to do something about this rotation.

The Braves have had a disappointing first half, but many still would’ve pegged them as the most likely team in the NL East to make a run in the second half—until Ronald Acuña Jr. went down on that warning track in Miami. Now, the Braves, who have already had a weak offense, are without their best hitter for the rest of the season.

That’s not all, either. Travis d’Arnaud remains unlikely to return any time soon, as he just started swinging a bat last week. Marcell Ozuna was injured and is now under investigation by the league for a domestic violence arrest; he seems unlikely to play the rest of this season, as well he shouldn’t.

Things on the pitching side haven’t been much easier for them. Max Fried and Charlie Morton have failed to live up to expectations. Mike Soroka is done for the year, and neither Huascar Ynoa or Tucker Davidson are close to a return either. On top of all of that, Ian Anderson dealt with with shoulder soreness in his last start and is now on the IL; no update has been given for him since he went to get evaluated earlier this week.

With all of these injuries and underperformance, it seems very difficult for the Braves to threaten the Mets much in the second half, even though they’re only 4.0 games out right now. They just traded for Joc Pederson to paper over some of their offensive holes, but Pederson isn’t a big difference maker these days, and the Braves will certainly have to do more to make noise at this point.

The Nats were 26-35, and then Kyle Schwarber started hitting dingers at a Barry Bonds pace. They then went 14-3 over their next 17 games as Schwarber carried them, and then he unfortunately got hurt. They’ve gone 2-9 since he went down, and have fallen back to 5 games under .500 at 42-47.

Their starting pitching has been a mess. Stephen Strasburg has barely pitched at all this season, and Jon Lester and Patrick Corbin have both had nightmare campaigns. Without Schwarber, their offense is just a two-man show between Juan Soto and Trea Turner, and things just got even worse for them with both of their catchers, Alex Avila and Yan Gomes, both going down with injuries that will keep them out for several weeks.

The Nats could catch the Mets if Schwarber came back and somehow continued his torrid pace, but he has yet to make any progress coming back from his hamstring strain. Strasburg is on the mend and could help anchor the rotation, but he is at least a few weeks away at best, and he might be too little too late by then. The Nationals have been a well-below .500 team for 14 of the 16 weeks they’ve played this season, and since they don’t have much to trade from to get any better, it’s tough to see them as being anything more than that for the last 11 weeks of the season.

After last year’s shortened season where the Marlins somehow made the playoffs, this year has looked much more like your standard Miami Marlins season. They sit at 39-50, and have already started selling with their trade of Adam Cimber and Corey Dickerson late last month. The Marlins are bad, and they’re not going anywhere. The only intrigue in their season going forward is to see who else they will sell, and if the Mets can take advantage of facing them 14 times in the second half, even though Jon Berti will probably steal 20 bases in those 14 games.

With the Mets being mostly healthy for the time being, it’s pretty easy to peg them as the easy favorites in the division as things currently stand. If they trade for a starter and add to the offense as well, they have the potential to run away with things. Of course, playoff odds can change violently in a heartbeat—just look at the 2015 NL East playoff odds chart, for example—but the Mets right now look like, at worst, an above-average team in a division full of below-average and bad teams.

That said, these division rivals can still smell blood in the water, according to Jeff Passan. They don’t view themselves as out of it. The Phillies currently seem like the biggest threat going forward, but they have a lot of work to do to even make sure they can even maintain an above .500 clip. The Braves have even more holes to fill at this point. Meanwhile, the Mets have less to do than either team to put themselves over the top and already have the head start in the standings. Still though, with 38 divisional games still left on the Mets’ schedule and fewer than a handful of games separating the top 4 teams, anything is possible.

J.T. Realmuto hits walk-off homer after Phillies resume suspended game vs. Marlins

NBC Sports 19 July, 2021 - 07:01am

J.T. Realmuto hit a walk-off, two-run homer off of Marlins reliever Yimi Garcia. There was a runner on third with one out so the game was going to end in that spot regardless of whether the ball went over the wall.

"I didn’t really care either way," Realmuto said after celebrating with teammates. "I knew I won the game so that’s why the fist pump came out immediately."

Saturday’s game was halted in the top of the 10th when Jose Alvarado had a 1-1 count on Jon Berti with a runner on second base. There was a torrential downpour in South Philly and after the second rain delay of the night, the game was suspended and resumed Sunday afternoon prior to the teams’ series finale.

Alvarado picked things up by striking out Berti and delivering a 1-2-3 inning to put the Phils in position to walk it off.

"He’s a blast. When he’s filling up the strike zone, he’s virtually unhittable," Realmuto said.

The fourth and final game of the weekend between the Phillies and Marlins pits Zack Wheeler against left-hander Braxton Garrett, who’s pitched all of 19 big-league innings. Wheeler has allowed one earned run in his last 14 innings to the Marlins and has had double-digit strikeouts in three of his last five starts against them.

The Phillies are 0-3-2 in their last five series against the Marlins and 1-6-2 in their last nine. With a win in Game 2 Sunday, they'll snap that long skid.

The Phils woke up Sunday with the ability to end the day one, two, three or four games out of first place in the NL East. The best-case scenario of two wins over the Marlins and a Mets loss to the Pirates could have the Phils as close to the top of the division as they’ve been since May 19.

Beyond that, the Mets are vulnerable right now. In their first weekend back from the All-Star break, they placed Jacob deGrom on the injured list with forearm tightness and lost Francisco Lindor for weeks with an oblique strain. 

The Mets have lost four of their last five games to the Pirates, who are 20 games under .500. They’ve blown ninth-inning leads in two of the last three, and on Saturday allowed nine runs in the final two innings of a game they led by six runs in the eighth.

The trade deadline is less than two weeks away and the Phillies will not be selling. They’ve played well enough lately to put themselves in position to catch the Mets, who have spent 69 of the season’s 90 days atop the NL East. The Phils knew the month of July was important to convince the front office that buying made more sense and they’ve responded by winning three straight series and going 9-4.

The Phils were three outs from winning Saturday’s night game without issue when Ranger Suarez blew a two-run lead and a monsoon followed. After about 50 minutes, the game was suspended and resumed prior to Sunday afternoon’s series finale. It was the first suspended game at Citizens Bank Park since Game 5 of the 2008 World Series.

"The reason we were playing today is on the offense, it’s not on Ranger," Realmuto said. "We should have spread it out, created more distance."

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Marlins vs. Phillies - Game Recap - July 18, 2021 - ESPN

ESPN 19 July, 2021 - 07:01am

PHILADELPHIA -- — J.T. Realmuto had a big day at the plate, following a two-run walk-off homer in the completion of Saturday’s suspended game with a 3-for-5 performance with two RBI and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Miami Marlins 7-4 on Sunday.

Realmuto’s two-run 10th-inning homer gave the Phillies a 4-2 win in the conclusion to Saturday’s suspended game.

Andrew McCutchen and Didi Gregorius also homered in Sunday’s scheduled game for the Phillies, who rallied from a 4-2 deficit to give starting pitcher Zack Wheeler the win.

Philadelphia has won 10 of its past 14 games and have won four series in a row for the first time since June 12 to 24, 2018.

The Phillies trail the New York Mets by just two games in the National League East — increasing the possibility that they may become buyers at the July 30 trade deadline in an attempt to end Philadelphia’s playoff drought which goes back to 2011.

“Hopefully, we’re making the right case,” Realmuto said. “We would have liked to not have to make the case this late. We would have liked to have played better earlier in the season.

"But now that we’ve got everyone back on the field and playing well, we’re doing all we can to try to convince them to go out and get what we need. We’re here to compete and we want to get to the postseason. We have to keep playing well and keep winning series to put pressure on them to get us some help.”

Adam Duvall hit his 20th homer of the season for the Marlins, who have lost six of their past eight games. They also lost second baseman Jazz Chisholm (left shoulder contusion) and first baseman Garrett Cooper (elbow) to injuries.

“It was one of those days,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “You start the day hopeful with where you are at. Hopefully, you want to get two, but you don’t get one and then you see Jazz go down and Coop go down.”

Realmuto has five multi-hit games since July 4 and has shown signs of opposite-field power.

In the conclusion of Saturday’s game, Realmuto powered an 0-2 fastball from Miami’s Yimi Garcia to the opposite field for his second career walk-off homer and ninth homer of the season.

In the regularly scheduled game, Realmuto followed a second-inning RBI single with an opposite-field single that scored Travis Jankowski in the eighth that added to the lead.

“With two strikes, I’ve been trying to get the ball deeper and that’s when I’m going to go to the opposite field,” Realmuto said. “Overall earlier in the count, I’ve been trying to pull side damage and then later in the count try to see the ball deeper. That’s how it worked out today.”

Wheeler — who has thrown the most innings of any starting pitcher in the majors at 125 2/3 — didn’t appear to have his best stuff. However, Miami was only able to get to him in the third inning with four runs, highlighted by Duvall’s two-run shot that gave the Marlins a 4-2 lead.

“It’s hard to get to him, but we strung some hits together and (Duvall) caps it off,” Mattingly said. “After five, we’re squared up and you feel like you like your chances. But then, we were not able to get the big hit.”

Wheeler went six innings, allowing six hits and four earned runs while striking out seven to improve to 7-5 on the season.

“My mindset going out there today was to get a win,” Wheeler said. “Whatever way it happens, find a way. Unfortunately, I gave up four, which didn’t help. But as long as the team wins it’s all that matters.”

The Marlins’ lead held until the bottom of the fifth. McCutchen connected on a first-pitch Braxton Garrett curveball for a solo shot that chased the Marlins starting pitcher and cut the Miami lead to 4-3. Two hitters later against reliever John Curtiss, Gregorius homered into the right-field bleachers for his eighth of the year to tie the game.

“We have the team that can score runs and we can score runs,” McCutchen said. “We felt like we were in the game the entire way, even down a few runs. We were able to do that and get the win today.”

Philadelphia took the lead in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Jean Segura. McCutchen followed with a fielder’s choice to give Philadelphia the 6-4 lead.

The Phillies’ bullpen held the lead for the final three innings as Connor Brogdon and Bailey Falter — two of the four Phillies players who spent time on the COVID-19 list this week for contact tracing — escaped an eighth-inning bases-loaded jam. Hector Neris pitched the ninth inning for his 12th save.

Marlins: Chisholm Jr. left Sunday’s game in the first inning with left shoulder contusion following a diving attempt on Bryce Harper’s single in short right field. X-rays were negative, but Chisholm will undergo a further examination on Monday in Washington ... Cooper left in the eighth inning with wrist issue after a collision with Jankowski at the bag. “We’re probably going to get them examined in DC to see what’s going on,” Mattingly said.

Phillies: Aaron Nola is scheduled to pitch for the Phillies on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium after coming off the team’s COVID-19 list. Nola was one of the Phillies who was in contact tracing following third baseman Alec Bohm’s positive test on July 10 in Boston, forcing the right-hander to miss his scheduled start the next day. Nola did not test positive for COVID-19. The earliest that Bohm could return would be Thursday against the Atlanta Braves, provided that he’s cleared protocol.

Marlins: Miami heads to Washington, where it will kick off a three-game set against the Nationals on Monday night.

Phillies: After a day off Monday, Philadelphia travels to Yankee Stadium for a two-game interleague set Tuesday.

Texas Rangers (35-58, fifth in the AL West) vs. Detroit Tigers (43-51, third in the AL Central)

Los Angeles Angels (46-46, fourth in the AL West) vs. Oakland Athletics (53-42, second in the AL West)

Cleveland Indians (47-43, second in the AL Central) vs. Houston Astros (56-38, first in the AL West)

Baltimore Orioles (30-62, fifth in the AL East) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (55-38, second in the AL East)

Pittsburgh Pirates (36-57, fifth in the NL Central) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (27-68, fifth in the NL West)

San Diego Padres (55-41, third in the NL West) vs. Atlanta Braves (45-47, third in the NL East)

Phillies need more length, consistency out of back end of rotation with MLB trade deadline looming

NJ.com 18 July, 2021 - 10:15am

PHILADELPHIA - The Phillies have a bullpen problem, as their 23rd blown save of the season on Saturday night would attest to.

They have a defense problem as well, one not easily solved until the offseason and not without some significant lineup reshuffling.

But another issue that sometimes doesn’t receive as much attention is the back end of the Phillies rotation. Vince Velasquez and Matt Moore are currently filling the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation behind Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola and Zach Eflin.

Velasquez is 3-4 with a 5.00 ERA in 19 outings, including 15 starts. Moore is a seemingly impossible 0-1 with a 5.25 ERA in 13 games, including seven starts.

The biggest problem is the lack of length from both pitchers.

Since re-joining the rotation on June 25, Moore has made four starts – and the Phillies have won all four. But he has pitched 17 2/3 innings in those starts, failing to go five innings in the last three outings despite giving up only two runs in each of the previous three games.

It’s the definition of keeping a team in the game – though does put some stress on the bullpen. In the opening game of Friday’s doubleheader, Moore gave up six hits and two earned runs while striking out a season-high nine before being removed after 4 1/3 innings in a 5-2 Phillies victory.

Velasquez pitched five shutout innings on Saturday night in a game that was suspended for weather in the 10th inning with the game tied at 2 after Ranger Suarez gave up a two-run home run in the ninth inning.

Another weather delay in the bottom of the fifth, lasting just 25 minutes, could have precipitated Velasquez’s early exit, In his 15 starts, Velasquez has pitched six innings four times and more than six just once.

He’s also been ineffective lately in games not against the Marlins. Velasquez has thrown 12 shutout innings in his last two starts against the Marlins and in his last seven non-Miami starts has pitched just 28 2/3 innings and allowed 31 earned runs.

Asked before Saturday’s game if he needs more innings out of Moore and Velasquez, Phillies manager Joe Girardi said not necessarily.

“It depends on the rest of your bullpen and how many guys you’ve got down there,” said Girardi. “What you want them to do is put zeroes as long as they can. When they’re tired, they’re tired and you figure out the rest. Matty, again, every start he’s made for us, he has given us a real chance to win. He’s throwing the ball well.”

Currently, the Phillies have a high number of 10 relievers - which will drop to nine when Aaron Nola is activated Tuesday - and just four bench players which helps make up for part of the rotation being unable to go deep in games.

The next few weeks will be big for both pitchers. With no real options at the minor-league level, they’ve both earned another start with their outings this weekend. But at most they will have two more starts each before the trade deadline, so Phillies management will be watching closely to see if they feel compelled to make a move.

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