Leading into August baseball, the playoff picture in the MLB starts to become tighter, and every game means more. For the Phillies and Marlins series, it was one of the most important series for the Phillies this season so far. The Marlins who are trailing in the Wild Card race behind the Phillies and three other teams. The Marlins needed this series in order to jump some of those other teams to get into the first slot in the Wild Card. The Phillies needed this series to distance them from the other teams in the hunt. After a disappointing series in Pittsburgh, the Phillies would travel to Miami, hoping to win an important series. This four-game series would throw all of what either team had on their roster, along with some newcomers that would immediately impact this series.
In game one, the leader in the Phillies clubhouse for most wins this season, Walker would step to the mound against Cabera. The Marlins would get an early jump in this game with their clubhouse leader in home runs, Soler. He would hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning. But in the top of the fourth inning, the Phillies’ young gun would come up to smack a two-run double. This would be Rojas first double of his career, and it would tie the game at two.
More of the Phillies’ daycare would come up huge later in this game. Stott would have an RBI in the top of the seventh inning due to a sac fly. Bohm would get an RBI single in the eighth inning to extend this comfortable lead for the Phillies. In this game, some special things happened. First, the Phillies walked ten or more times in this game which hasn’t been done since 2019. Secondly, the Phillies won the game 4-2 and gave Walker his twelfth win, which made him the first pitcher this season to get to that mark in the majors. Lastly, the Phillies showed dominance over a rival they have struggled with in the last couple of years. The hope is that this trend would continue throughout this series.
In game two of this series, the headline shifted to two young up-incoming pitchers in Suarez and Alcantara. In the bottom of the third inning, the Marlins would get on the board first once again. Avisal Garcia would hit an RBI double to put the Marlins in front early. With these young, very talented pitchers on the mound, there would not be much scoring by either team in this game. Just when you thought that the Phillies were going to lose this game, MV3 steps into the batter’s box. In the top of the ninth inning, Harper would hit an RBI double to tie the game at one.
A couple of batters later, Nick Castellanos would step up and hit a two-run home run off his former teammate David Robertson. The Phillies would go on to win this game 3-1. This would be the 26th time the Phillies have come back to win the game this season. The Phillies are proving that any team will need to work extra hard to get all 27 outs in a game against these boys. This victory was impressive in another way. The Marlins were 48-3 this season when leading after eight innings. The Phillies have given the Marlins two of those three losses. Perhaps the tide is turning against the Marlins.
In game three of this series, Wheeler would face off against Braxton Garrett. This time the Phillies would jump all over the Marlins. The Phillies would jump out to a five-run lead. This lead was built by some of the offensive stallworths in the Phillies lineup this season. RBIs by Castellanos and Stott in the top of the fourth inning. Stubbs would walk in a run in the top of the sixth inning, and Bohm would add to his RBI numbers by hitting a two-run double in that same half-inning.
Then the wheels would fall off. Back-to-back home runs by one of the newcomers, Josh Bell, and the show-off Jazz Chisholm. The Marlins would add to their run total in the bottom of the eighth inning. RBIs by Sanchez and Berti. Then Soler would come up and crush a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, to tie the game and send it into extra innings. In extra innings, it would go back and forth until in the twelfth inning, Sanchez would get an RBI and help the Marlins win game three, 9-8.
Leading into game 4 of this series, it was a pivotal game because the Phillies would not want to leave Miami with a split. The Phillies would send a new face to the mound to face an old foe. Lorenzen, who the Phillies traded to get before the trade deadline, would face off against Cueto. The Phillies knew that they would have to jump on the Marlins and keep the pressure on so as not to repeat what had happened in game three.
JT would get the fun started with a two run home run in the top of the second inning. This was a great sign for both the Phillies in this game and for JT as well. JT was hurt in game one of this series with a severe cut on his hand. JT missed games two and three but came back in game four to show that his hand is just fine. Jazz Chisholm with an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning, and Phillie fans thought this was going to be the beginning of the Marlins’ comeback in this game.
However, another trade deadline addition came through in the top of the seventh inning. Last season the Phillies went out and got what seems like to be their future center fielder in Brandon Marsh. Marsh helped the Phillies get to the World Series last year, and he would come through once again in a big moment. Marsh would hit a two-run single to extend the lead for the Phillies. The Phillies would go on to win this game and this series against the Marlins.
Looking at the Standings
This series victory by the Phillies not only helps them put distance between themselves and the rest of the Wild Card field, but now they get to come home for a two-week home stand against teams that are not doing very well this season. Even though the Phillies’ home record hasn’t been the best this season, taking care of business against these inferior teams can go a long way to what happens in September. The alumni from both the 83 and 93 teams should also boost motivation. It is important that the Phillies, down the stretch, take more advantage of bases-loaded situations and stop hitting into so many double plays. I still believe that this is a dangerous team come playoff time, but if the Phillies falter against these teams in this home stand, that confidence will start to fade.