Pitching, pitching and more pitching was the story of the game early.
Five days after stifling the Marlins in eight innings of work, Jeremy Hellickson was at it again. The Philadelphia Phillies' starter gave up just one hit in six dominant frames.
Most impressively, the 29-year-old did so without fanning batters. He recorded only one strikeout in the game -- the opposing pitcher.
On the other side, Jarred Cosart, fresh off being called up from the minors to make a spot start in the place of the injured Wei-Yin Chen, did exactly what the Fish needed him to do. He pitched five shutout innings before handing the ball over to bullpen. A pitch count of 92 and a blister appearing on his pitching thumb caused an early exit.
The turning point for the Marlins came in the seventh inning. To put it lightly, it did not look good for the Fish. Reliever Kyle Barraclough came in and walked Cameron Rupp, gave a bunt single to Freddy Galvis and flung a pick-off attempt into center field. With two runners in scoring position and nobody out, the NL leader out of the 'pen in strikeouts per nine innings added to that average. He reared back and struck out Cody Ashe, Peter Bourjos and pinch-hitter Ryan Howard.
Having two runners on in a scoreless ballgame forced Philly to pinch hit for Hellickson, who was sitting at only 70 pitches and looking unhittable. The Marlins were able to get Hellickson out of the game without even hitting him or forcing him to throw a lot of pitches. Instead, it took a sloppy inning.
A run finally came across the board in the eighth against reliever Fernando Rodney. With two outs in the inning, Rodney lost control of the strike zone. He issued a four-pitch walk to Maikel Franco before grooving a fastball down the middle to the big Tommy Joseph. Joseph ripped a liner into the left-center gap, scoring Franco from first.
Everything fell apart from that point. A.J. Ramos, having not worked in a few days, came in in the ninth and did not look sharp. A hit-by-pitch, a couple of well-placed bunts, a pair of stolen bases and an error on a fielder's choice attempt by Adeiny Hechavarria was the formula for an unraveling inning.
The Phils ultimately added on three runs and closed out the game with three outs in the bottom of the frame.
- Marlin relievers struck out the first eight batters they set down from the sixth to the eighth inning (David Phelps - 3; Barraclough - 3; Rodney - 2).
- Miami has now gone 19 consecutive innings without a run. This comes after a 16-hit, seven-run performance against the New York Mets.
- The Marlins committed three fielding errors for only the second time this season.
- The shutout loss marked the first time since 2013 the Fish have be blanked in consecutive games.