The long ball. This has been a sore spot for Marlins hurlers all season. Coming into tonight, they have given up 26 homers this season which is “good” for sixth worst in the majors. Tonight’s game at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia would prove no different.
The Marlins gave up three home runs against the Phillies, the biggest being a grand slam in the bottom of the third by Maikel Franco off a Wei-Yin Chen 92 mph fastball down the heart of the plate. This would turn out to be the difference in a 7-4 loss to their NL East rivals tonight.
Each of the Marlins three pitchers gave up a home run: Chen gave up the slam; Jarlin Garcia gave up a solo shot to Freddy Galvis; while Dustin McGowan gave up a two run blast to Michael Saunders in the bottom of the eighth.
The night had started off well for Miami. Dee Gordon led off the game with a triple off the first pitch from starter Vince Velasquez, and later scored on a ground out by Christian Yelich.
Then, Martin Prado hit a solo dinger to left-center off an 88 mph changeup in the third inning to give the Fish a 2-0 lead.
However, it was the bottom of the third where things went astray for Miami, and they were never to regain the lead.
Positive notes for the Marlins tonight could be found in the bottom of their lineup. Adeiny Hechavarria went three for four with a double two RBI, easily leading the team in WPA at 0.99. J.T. Realmuto also added two hits to raise his batting average to .354.
The Marlins face the Phillies again tomorrow at 1:05 as Edison Volquez (0-2, 4.82) goes for his first win of the season against undefeated Jeremy Hellickson (3-0, 1.88) in the conclusion of this shortened series in Philadelphia.
Star of the Game: Maikel Franco thanks to his grand slam and difference-maker
Star of the Game for the Marlins: Adeiny Hechavarria
Goat of the Game: Wei-Yin Chen
Turning Point: What else? The Slam!