The bad news is that Phillies/Marlins games have almost undeniably taken on a somebody-has-to-win feel. The worse news is that it happened around the middle of last year. Last night it was the Phillies’s turn to win as they topped Miami 2-1, snapping a five-game losing streak and handing the Marlins their 100th loss of the season.
Miami starter Henderson Alvarez struggled in the first inning, walking three straight batters and helping the Phils push across a pair of early runs. That was all they would get and all they would need. Zach Miner started the game for the Phillies and held the Fish to a run over four innings. He was followed by four Phillie relievers who combined to throw five shutout frames.
One of the four relievers in the game for the Phils was Jake Diekman, who allowed a one-out single in a scoreless eighth. Over his last 18 appearances, Diekman has thrown to an 0.55 ERA and an 0.61 ratio while striking out 23 in 16 1/3 innings.
The Phillies are 72-85 on the season after beating the Miami Marlins 2-1 last night. The Marlins are 58-100. The Phillies remain tied with the Mets for third-place in the NL East. Both teams are 21 games behind the first-place Braves and trail the second-place Nats by 11 1/2.
Miner got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing a run on four hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out three.
Miner drops his ERA on the season to 3.08 with the outing. The 3.08 ERA is a lot more impressive than the 1.52 ratio. Miner has allowed just 26 hits in his 26 1/3 innings and held opponents to a .263 average, but has walked 14. Lefties especially have drawn a ton of walks — they’re hitting just .241 but on-basing .395 against him for the year.
The Phillies led 2-0 when he set the Marlins down in order in the bottom of the first.
Giancarlo Stanon singled to center to start the second. Justin Ruggiano was next and lined a 1-0 pitch into the gap in left-center for a double. Stanton scored from first (1-0) and Ruggiano tried to move up to third as Brown rambled to the ball, but Brown finally got there and relayed to Rollins. Rollins’s throw to third was in time to get Ruggiano, leaving the bases empty with one down. Miner got the next two hitters on a ground ball to second and a strikeout.
Miner’s issues this season have mostly been with walks, but the only run he allowed in his four innings last night came on back-to-back hits by righties. The Phillies and Miner were fortunate to get Ruggiano at third as there was a good chance Ruggiano on third with nobody out would have led to at least a second run in the frame.
Miner allowed a one-out double to the pitcher Henderson Alvarez with one out in the third. He walked Ed Lucas with after getting the second out, putting men on first and second with two down for lefty Christian Yelich. Yelich grounded to Miner to end the inning.
Ruggiano singled to left with one out and stole second before Logan Morrison drew a walk. It put men on first and second with one down, but Miner retired Adeiny Hechavarria on a ground ball to third for the second out and got Jeff Mathis swinging for the third.
Second time in two innings that Miner allows a hit and a walk in the inning, but keeps the Marlins from scoring.
Michael Stutes threw a 1-2-3 fifth. Galvis made a nice play at third on a ball hit hard to retire Alvarez for the first out.
Wait, Michael Stutes is on the team, I hear you cry? Evidently. He was activated from the 60-day DL on Friday after missing more than two months with biceps tendinitis. Last night’s appearances was his first since June 22. He threw to a 1.32 ERA in 13 2/3 innings in his first 11 appearances on the season. From June 19 to June 22, he pitched three times and two of the outings were miserable — in the three appearances combined he allowed eight runs over two innings. Last night was his first appearance since.
JC Ramirez pitched the sixth and the seventh. Miami didn’t score in either inning and Ramirez allowed just one base-runner on a Yelich single to start the sixth.
Ramirez has just been awful this year, but he goes two scoreless innings in his best outing in a long time. Coming into last night’s game he had allowed a least one run in each of his last ten appearances, throwing to an 11.57 ERA and a 2.43 ratio in those outings.
Diekman pitched the eighth. He allowed a one-out single to Lucas, but got the next two.
Diekman continues to be fantastic. Over his last 18 appearances, he’s thrown to an 0.55 ERA and an 0.61 ratio while striking out 23 in 16 1/3 innings. For the year, righties numbers against the lefty are still pretty concerning. Righties are hitting 305/374/402 against him while lefties have a 148/209/148 line. Lefties don’t have an extra-base hit against him in 68 plate appearances. He’s allowed just one home run on the year, which was hit by righty David Wright.
Papelbon pitched the ninth. He allowed a two-out single to Hechavarria, but retired Placido Polanco on a fly ball to right to end the game.
Papelbon drops his ERA on the year to 2.52 with the outing. Compared to his career numbers, Papelbon has been better against lefties this year, but righties have gotten more hits against him than they had in the past. Righties are hitting .250 against him for the season and .221 against him for his career.
Five scoreless innings for the pen in which they allow three singles and don’t walk a batter while striking out three. Ramirez threw 25 pitches in the game and Diekman 20.
The Phillie lineup against righty Henderson Alvarez went (1) Hernandez (2) Rollins (3) Utley (4) Brown (5) Ruf (6) Frandsen (7) Galvis (8) Rupp. Frandsen plays first against the righty. He comes into the game hitting 200/244/297 against right-handed pitching for the year. Times are hard, but you really have to figure out a way not to do that. Galvis enters the game with a negative Baseball-Reference calculated dWAR for the year and a .270 career on-base percentage. Cameron Rupp makes his second career start behind the plate. Hernandez hits leadoff — he enters the game on-basing .405 out of the leadoff spot in the order.
Rollins doubled to right with one out. Utley and Brown both walked behind him, loading the bases for Ruf. Ruf walked on a 3-2 pitch that was outside, forcing Rollins home. 1-0 with the bases still loaded. Frandsen was next and grounded to short with the infield back. Hechavarria took the out at first and everyone moved up a base. Utley scored, making it 2-0 with two down and men on second and third. Galvis grounded to second for the third out.
Two runs in the frame for the Phils on the Rollins double and three walks. Nice job by Utley, Brown and Ruf to let Alvarez walk them all in a row.
Miner singled to center with one out in the second, but Hernandez grounded into a double-play behind him.
The lead was cut to 2-1 when the Phillies hit in the third. Utley singled to right with one out and moved up to third on a two-out single by Ruf. Frandsen grounded to second to leave the runners stranded.
The Phillies didn’t have a base-runner in the fourth, fifth or sixth.
Rupp singled to center off of Alvarez with one out in the seventh, but Mayberry and Hernandez both struck out behind him.
Utley draws the walk against the lefty. He’s hitting .232 and on-basing .317 against lefties for the year. The Fish bring in a righty to get Ruf, but Ruf is still hitting just 190/311/349 against lefties for the season.
Webb was back and set the Phillies down 1-2-3 in the ninth.
Hernandez was 0-for-4 in the game. He’s 0-for-his-last-7 and 1-for-his-last-12. Hitting .286 and on-basing .352 for the year with an isolated power of .051. The high average and pretty good on-base percentage might be for real. The no power is very definitely for real. Also, he’s not a center fielder and you can’t make him one by playing him in center field. See also: John Mayberry. Hernandez’s UZR/150 as calculated by FanGraphs is -23.2. Mayberry’s is -28.9. Everyone accepts without question that Delmon Young was an abysmal right fielder. And he was. FanGraphs has his UZR/150 in right for the season at -22.2.
Rollins 1-for-4 with a double. 367/446/551 over his last 56 plate appearances. 309/405/456 in 79 plate appearances in September.
Utley 1-for-2 and walked twice. He’s 11-for-his-last-31 (.355).
Brown 0-for-3 with a walk. 250/385/344 in 39 plate appearances since his return.
Ruf 1-for-3 with an RBI. 302/387/453 over his last 62 plate appearances.
Frandsen 0-for-3 with an RBI and left four men on base. Well, coach, what you’re doin’ with Kevin Frandsen . . .I’m not seeing it. 196/240/292 against righties for the year. Not a first baseman. Seems like all that should add up to not starting him at first base against a righty.
Galvis 0-for-4 with a strikeout. Well, coach, what you’re doin’ with Freddy Galvis . . .I’m not seeing it.
Rupp 1-for-4 with a single. 2-for-8 with two singles on the year.
Hamels (8-14, 3.62) faces lefty Brad Hand (1-1, 3.14) tonight. Neither of Hamels’s last two starts have been good as he’s allowed ten runs over 13 innings. Hamels started June with a 4.86 ERA, thanks in part to allowing ten home runs in 74 innings over his first 12 times out. He ended August with a 3.58 ERA. In his 16 starts in June and August, he made 16 starts in which he threw to a 2.73 ERA and allowed seven home runs in 112 innings. He’s allowed four home runs in 28 innings in his first four starts in September. He allowed home runs to about 3.1% of the batters he faced in his 12 starts through the end of May, about 1.6% of the batters he faced in his 16 starts from June through August and has now allowed home runs to about 3.6% of the batters he’s faced so far in September. Not giving up home runs might be the cause of good pitching and it might be the symptom — whichever it is, the differences in results for Hamels over the stretches where he’s limited the home run this year have been pretty dramatic. Hand has made eight appearances in relief this year and one start. In the eight relief appearances, he’s allowed a run over 8 2/3 innings on one hit and five walks (1.04 ERA and an 0.69 ratio). His only start came against the Mets on September 13 and he allowed four runs over 5 2/3 innings. Opponents are hitting .122 against him for the season.