With all of the injuries to Marlin players within the last week -- especially to pitchers -- the Fish desperately needed David Phelps' return to the rotation to keep going well.
He did not disappoint.
The righty out of St. Louis put together 5.1 innings of dominant baseball in the opener of a four-game set with the Cincinnati Reds. He struck out eight, a career best, and gave up a solo shot to Scott Schebler in the second as the lone hiccup.
Phelps looked certainly like he could go well into the seventh or even eighth inning, however, bench coach Tim Wallach had a short hook in the sixth. Wallach was in charge of the squad after manager Don Mattingly was ejected arguing a checked swing in the third inning.
The Marlins began the game on the right foot as a Dee Gordon double and a Martin Prado RBI single put them up 1-0 before an out could be recorded. Prado did what he does best and fought off a number of two-strike offerings in the 12-pitch at-bat.
Schebler's shot tied things at one before the Fish decided to get in on the long ball fun.
Chris Johnson snuck a ball over the right field fence in the fourth, and Marcell Ozuna blasted a shot to center in the sixth, giving the Marlins a 3-1 cushion.
Johnson was at it again in the sixth when he doubled home J.T. Realmuto to put the Fish up 4-1.
Wallach's quick move to take Phelps out of the game sparked a series of unfortunate events.
Phelps had only walked one and was near or in the strike zone all night. Relievers Brian Ellington and Hunter Cervenka fittingly put on three of the next four batters via the base on balls, including a base-loaded walk to plate the second run to Phelps' line.
In the seventh, up 4-2, a double and an errant throw by shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria put a run across the board and the Fish in a tough situation, leading now only by one.
The Marlins managed to plate a couple of huge insurance runs before another error by Hechavarria to start the bottom half of the eighth inning made things interesting. Reliever Kyle Barraclough surrendered a hit to Eugenio Suarez to put the tying run at the plate with nobody out. He wiggled his way out of trouble to send the game to the ninth.
Keeping with the trend out of the bullpen, closer Fernando Rodney kept the roller coaster going in his third game of work in as many nights. He issued a four-pitch walk to pinch-hitter Zack Cozart to kick off the frame. However, he set down the next three he faced, firing his signature "arrow" into the night sky to signify a job well done.