Owner Jeffrey Loria, Commissioner Rob Manfred Jr., and former Marlin Jeff Conine were on the field to do the honors in front of a paid crowd of 32,000+ according to MLB.com.
Right after that announcement, the Fish took to the field in hopes of solving rookie Zach Eflin.
Those hopes were more than fulfilled as the Marlins put up three runs in the first inning, the big blow being a long two home run by slugger Giancarlo Stanton, his 22nd of the year.
The Fish would eventually go on to win 11-1.
As the box score shows, the Marlins routed on 16 hits, the lone Philly run coming in the top of the 9th inning off Dustin McGowan.
The three spot in the first inning started with two consecutive hits by J.T. Realmuto and Martin Prado, bringing Yelich to the plate with runners on the corners. A shot to first basemen Tommy Joseph, which he turned into a fielder's choice, scored the game's opening run. Of note is that three of Eflin's main pitches (Four-seam, Two-seam, Slider) got hit hard in the first inning, providing little to no confidence that he had any of his pitches working early. Stanton as mentioned, then provided the lone home run of the game.
Another storyline from the first inning that eventually led to the ejection of bench coach Larry Bowa, was a 2-2 fastball to Realmuto that was called a ball. The next pitch was his double to open the game. His fourth inning ejection came after a strikeout of Cameron Rupp on a high-and-tight fastball from Conley. Deservedly having a gripe with the pitch in my opinion, that call, combined with close calls when Eflin was on the mound, was more than Bowa could tolerate.
After Eflin got out of a bases loaded, one out jam in the second inning, Adam Conley hit a ball to left center field that would score Don Kelly after reaching on one of his two triples in the game.
While Eflin's line looks grotesque, he and Conley threw fairly similar games through five innings. The difference of course being the run totals and Eflin's 'blow-up' in the bottom of the sixth inning after the other Don Kelly triple scored Hechavarria and Rojas. Andrew Bailey then proceeded to maintain his 6+ ERA on the season, not recording an out and relinquishing a run on two hits via singles from Conley and Realmuto. Coming off a complete game shutout, Zach Eflin finished with a line of 5 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 4 BB, and 1 K, reverting back to his shellacking in Toronto during his major league debut.
In total, the Marlins hammered out seven extra base hits and nine singles, tallying 16 hits for the second time in their last five games (scored seven runs on 16 hits against the Mets Saturday July, 23rd).
Don Kelly's two triple effort likely won't be enough to keep him on the major league roster when Justin Bour returns this week, but one could argue that this was the best Kelly hit the ball at the Major League level since 2013. He was one of four players on the Marlins with three hits today (Realmuto, Prado, Ozuna), and drove in two. His second triple could be considered the nail in the Phillie's coffin for this game, pushing the Marlins to an eight run lead after the sixth inning had ended.
Fun fact, prior to this game, Kelly only achieved multiple triples in a major league season once in his career since he debuted in the majors - 2011 with the Tigers. Today with the Marlins, he had two triples.
This wasn't the pure domination we had seen from Conley in numerous starts this season, but he got the job done and made some big pitches to get out of a few threats the Phillies posed through his 6.2 innings.
The biggest of which was in the top of the third with only a three run lead, Conley loaded the bases with only one out. After he got Franco out in front on an 0-1 changeup which resulted in a fielder's choice to the catcher, he came inside on Tommy Joseph with a good fastball, causing him to pop out near the backstop to Realmuto. Oddly enough, in successive half innings (Eflin in the bottom of the second), the starting pitcher got out of a bases loaded jam with a fastball inside, resulting in strikingly similar results - a pop out to the catcher on the first base side of the diamond.
Oddities aside, Conley got out of another small jam in the sixth with a four run lead, and the bases loaded. He struck out Tyler Goeddel on a 1-2 changeup, and then got Taylor Featherson to fly out to Ozuna, ending the threat. In the seventh Conley retired two batters, but then couldn't get the last out of the seventh after a walk and single. Pulled after 104 pitches, Conley finished with a line of 6.2 IP, 8 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, and 6 strikeouts.
Overall it was a good performance that allowed the Marlins to rest the bulk of their bullpen for a game heading into a huge series with the St. Louis Cardinals (used only Nick Wittgren and Dustin McGowan). The only concern has to be that Conley didn't look particularly good the third time through the order, something that Paul Sporer broken out in an article on Conley's season up to early July. He allowed two hits and two walks on the Phillies third look at the Marlins lefty, and then another hit and walk on the Phillies fourth look at him before being pulled.
A positive despite this recurring problem for Conley is that he didn't have trouble throwing his slider to righties, as has been the blight of his woes the third time through as Sporer mentions. Hopefully more positives to come in Conley's next projected start Monday at Wrigley Field.
The Marlins have the rest of today off as they prepare for a four game series with a team hot on their tails in the NL Wild Card race, the St. Louis Cardinals.
Jose Fernandez takes the mound tomorrow in what would be a great start to the series if the Marlins can get to Michael Wacha. Another interesting bout comes with the possibility of top prospect Alex Reyes making his major league debut on Saturday if Tyler Lyons is unavailable to throw.
Reyes is my #2 prospect in all of baseball, on a list I encourage you to check out, and possesses an elite fastball, combined with a curve and developing changeup that keeps hitters off balance better than most pitchers in the minors.
I'm hopeful he'll make his debut Saturday, in which would be a must-watch game for any 'prospect hound' like myself.
Hero of the Game: Adam Conley (+.234 WPA)
Zero of the Game: Christian Yelich (-.050 WPA) *One of only two Marlin position players with a negative WPA
Play of the Game: Giancarlo Stanton's 2-run HR in the 1st inning off Zach Eflin (+.152 WPA)