The Marlins surrendered an early lead in this Wednesday afternoon rubber match of an opponent they'll see more of in the coming months. This marks the second time in two series with the Phillies that the Marlins win the first of a three game set, only to drop the next two - relinquishing the series win. The damage was done with a three-run third inning, as Andres Blanco doubled in one, followed by a Cameron Rupp two-run single, eliminating the Marlin's lead.
The Marlins would go on to lose 4-2, as the team travels back home to Miami in preparation of a three game set with the Washington Nationals.
In a low scoring game like this one, heavy analysis is often done on the starting pitchers, as minor mistakes often carry more weight than in slugfests. Interestingly enough, the Marlins actually jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning off Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson. A pair of doubles by Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich got the Fish on the board early, but those would unfortunately be the only runs the Marlins would put up on the scoreboard.
After the first inning where Hellickson surrendered three baserunners, he only faced one over the minimum in his next five innings of work, at one point retiring 11 in a row. Finishing with a line of 6 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 2 ER, 4 Ks, the one time AL ROY netted his 4th win of 2016, pushing his ERA just below the 4.00 mark for the season.
Tom Koehler on the other hand had a different progression in his start. While Hellickson started rough and settled in after only one rocky inning, Koehler took three innings to settle in, stranding his first five baserunners of the game in the first two innings. The problem for him early was the lack of control with his fastball, which eventually came around to hurt him as he allowed the Phillies to take the lead in the third.
The positive in this start for Koehler was his ability to get through seven innings of respectable baseball. Tough luck for the Marlin's starter as this is the second time he has gone seven innings this season, both resulting in club losses by two or less runs. Mattingly's willingness to let Koehler figure-it-out this year also seems to be prevalent as Koehler has thrown 100+ pitches in each of his last three starts.
Although Koehler seems to be eating innings for the Marlins in his last few starts, he is walking far too many batters and not striking out enough to warrant consistency in the long run. With a K%-BB% near the league bottom (4.4%), control of his fastball needs to be a priority in the very near future.
His final line was 7 IP, 7 H, 5 BB, 2 ER, 5 Ks and the Loss.
Hero of the Game: Christian Yelich (+.133 WPA)
Goat of the Game: J.T. Realmuto (-.203 WPA)
Play of the Game: Martin Prado grounds into double play in bottom of 8th inning, 1 on, none out, 3-2 ballgame (-.179 WPA).