Late-Game Heroics Are Needed to Split with the Fish

The Miami Marlin came into South Philly and caught an off-balance Philadelphia Phillies. The team has not been itself since losing Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper to the IL after both suffering injuries in Thursday’s match-up. To make matters worse, the Phillies’ usually reliable bullpen had a few implosions, defensive blunders, and an uncharacteristic outing from Ranger Suarez on Sunday. Is this a bad omen or a bump in the road as key players await their return? We all hope for the latter, as late-game heroics were needed to split the four-game series with the Marlins.

What Did Not Go Wrong on Thursday?

The Philadelphia Phillies return home to a sellout crowd. The Phillies had a game they would soon like to forget. From a wasted Zack Wheeler performance to a bullpen implosion and, worse, injuries to two key players, Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper, things kept getting worse for the Phillies.

Zack Wheeler pitched 6 and 2/3 innings against the Marlins. He struck out 5 and walked only 2 batters (plus 1 hit batter). He gave up six hits over those innings. When he left, he had runners on first and second. The usually surehanded Matt Strahm would plunk CF Jazz Chisholm to load the bases. He would allow a bases-clearing double to DH Bryan De La Cruz to tie the game 3-3 immediately after he surrendered the lead to Miami with an RBI double from 1B Josh Bell.

Jeff Hoffman would also struggle. He allowed a leadoff homerun to Jake Burger to give the lead back to the Marlins. He would follow up with a double form LF Nick Gordon. A wild pitch would move Nick Gordon to third, and then a fielding error from an unlikely candidate, Edmundo Sosa, would allow another run to cross home plate for the Fish.

Yunior Marte returned to the Phillies after being placed back on the roster when Turnbull went on the IL. He struck out the first two batters and followed up with two singles and an RBI, extending the Marlins’ lead to three runs.

Kyle Schwarber would get lifted in the ninth with left groin tightness. He noted he felt it in the field and was lifted for precautionary reasons. To make matters worse, Bryce Harper also had lower left hamstring discomfort running up the line on the last lineup. He was discussing it post-game.

Cristopher Sanchez Earns His Extension

After recently signing a contract, Cristopher Sanchez throws his first career complete game. He leads the Phillies to a 2-0 victory and makes it 1-1 in two games of a four-game series. He allowed only three hits while striking out nine and walking zero to lower his season ERA to 2.41.

The typically reserved Sánchez let out a yell when he finished the eighth. Then, at just 94 pitches, he got the chance to finish the job in the ninth. Seven pitches later, he had his first career complete game. CBP erupted with him.

“It was incredible,” Sánchez said via team interpreter Diego D’Aniello. “This is my first complete game and it’s an incredible feeling. It’s amazing. I thank [catcher Garrett Stubbs] as well for his work behind the plate. We’re a team.”

Since signing his new deal, Sánchez has thrown 16 scoreless innings over his two starts. He’s racked up 13 strikeouts with zero walks while giving up only six hits during that span. Perhaps even more impressive, Sánchez has not allowed a home run since April 29 in Anaheim. He hasn’t allowed a long ball at home all season. (He’s allowed just one through 16 starts overall.)

Sánchez is the first Phillies pitcher to go 10 straight starts without allowing a home run since Roy Halladay in 2011. And Sánchez is the first Philadelphia hurler to allow no more than one homer over any 16-start span since Jerry Koosman in 1984.

Chisholm Brings Series 2-1 Fish

Chisholm delivered the game-winning hit during the seventh inning of the Marlins’ 3-2 comeback victory. Miami mounted a seventh-inning rally for the second time in three games this series. Aaron Nola gave up back-to-back two-out doubles to Otto Lopez and Nick Fortes to tie the game at 2 before Chisholm’s heroics.

Following Fortes’ hit, the Phillies turned to the currently struggling Matt Strahm to face the left-handed-hitting Chisholm. Chisholm sent Strahm’s elevated four-seamer to center for the go-ahead RBI single. 12 of the Marlins’ 14 runs this trip have been with two outs. It’s another wasted outing for a Phillies quality starter. This is becoming a concern trend.

Turner’s Birthday Present to Phillies Fans

Trea Turner admitted on Saturday that he was trying to do too much in the absences of Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber, and J.T. Realmuto. But on Sunday afternoon, he did more than enough.

Turner’s clutch go-ahead two-run single in the seventh. That was his third hit on his 31st birthday. This was the difference in the Phillies’ come-from-behind 7-6 victory over the Marlins. Philadelphia scored the final five runs to overcome a four-run deficit. It was the largest comeback win of the season for the Phillies.

The makeshift top of the order bailed out Ranger Suárez after arguably the worst start of his career. The National League Cy Young contender was tagged for six runs off nine hits and two walks over 4 2/3 innings. He did not record a single strikeout for the first time in his 83 career starts.

The Phillies faced a four-run deficit when Suárez departed at the top of the fifth. This was a lot to ask after a team that had scored just four runs in two games since placing Harper and Schwarber went on the IL Friday. But Nick Castellanos lasered an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth, then added a two-run single in the sixth. The Marlins botched what should have been an inning-ending double play. In the seventh, Marlins reliever Andrew Nardi walked the first two batters he faced. Rookie catcher Rafael Marchán then dropped down a perfect sacrifice bunt to set up Turner’s decisive two-out two-run single up the middle. The Phillies have the best record in the Majors at 55-29 and hold an eight-game lead in the NL East.

The Phillies head to Chicago to take on the Cubs for the 4th of July week.

Al Zaffiri
Al Zaffiri

Al is one of the two co-creators of Edge of Philly Sports. Al started radio and podcasting in 2012 and covering sports in 2015. A lifelong Philly sports fan since watching the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, and Flyers with his grandfathers at age 7. Al always looks at the other side of the hot topics and gives his different outlook on those topics. Web and Graphic Design.

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