The Marlins’ “bullpen game” got off to an encouraging start, but clutch hits by Justin Bour and César Hernández on Saturday night led the Phillies to a 5-4 comeback win. Try to act surprised.
- Jarlin García: 1.0, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (12 pitches)
- Vince Velasquez: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K (46 pitches)
Speaking to FOX Sports Florida’s Jessica Blaylock prior to the game, Don Mattingly said he didn’t want Jarlin García to swing a bat, hinting at a brief outing for the left-hander. When the Marlins rallied against Vince Velasquez in the second inning, Mattingly stayed true to the plan.
It paid off beautifully. Pinch-hitter Peter O’Brien drew a two-out walk in place of García to load the bases for leadoff man JT Riddle. Velazquez was lucky to keep this ball in the yard:
MUST SEE! @_Riddler_10 clears the bases with a 3 RBI single to drive in Austin Dean, Magneuris Sierra, and Peter O'Brien! @Marlins take an early 4-0 lead!— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) September 15, 2018
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Riddle would get hung up between second and third with Brian Anderson at the plate. The caught stealing prevented the Marlins from really breaking the game open.
Mattingly would cycle through seven different pitchers, six of whom did a decent job. That included Brett Graves.
The Phils narrowed the deficit to 4-2 with him on the mound, but largely because fellow rookie Austin Dean botched a routine play in left field, taking an awkward route, then failing to get his glove on the ball near the wall.
Managing with urgency as a potential NL Wild Card team, Gabe Kapler removed Velasquez for Bour’s bat to capitalize on the two-out, bases loaded opportunity. The previous two batters couldn’t get them on the scoreboard
Anderson came this close to getting Graves through the second inning unscathed:
Drew Rucinski took the “L” for his sloppy fifth-inning effort. The Phillies needed just eight pitches to put the tying runs on and Hernández to bring ‘em home:
At times earlier this season, Rucinski looked like a potential asset. Unfortunately, it is now easier to understand why he’s had a journeyman career. Since returning from a right shoulder injury on August 10, he owns a 7.29 earned run average with a 12.5 strikeout rate. That pales in comparison to his 3.12 ERA and 20.9 K% prior to the DL stint.
The Marlins nearly bailed Rucinski out. Riddle doubled high off the right-field wall in the seventh inning, a few feet shy of tying the score at 5-5. The following inning, Derek Dietrich crushed one into the left-center gap, but Roman Quinn completed the running catch:
As we’ve witnessed repeatedly in 2018, the Fish struggle to tack on insurance runs after putting up a crooked number. The offense managed only two hits in seven innings against Phillies relievers.
Despite these teams combining to use 15(!) pitchers, the game wrapped up in a reasonable two hours and 48 minutes.
Another loss Sunday would match Miami’s longest losing streak of the season. José Ureña is tasked with leading them in the series finale, as Jake Arrieta takes the mound for the Phillies. First pitch at 1:35 p.m.