Positive connotations are rarely if ever, tied to being on the losing end.
For the 2022 Marlins, while sitting here and regaling on the hypothetical “games they should’ve won,” would only add salt to the wound of an already disappointing season, Wednesday’s 4-3 loss to the Phillies is another in a long line of said games.
From the way the first half of the evening went, all signs pointed to Miami cruising to a feel-good victory amid what has been a stretch of performative dismality.
At the plate, the consistently feeble offense showed signs of life, at least by their standards, scratching out 2 runs against Noah Syndergaard. In his second start since being acquired from the Angels, Syndergaard allowed 2 runs over 6 innings, striking out 4, and walking 2.
3rd baseman Charles LeBlanc continued to impress, collecting two more hits in the loss. His 15 hits in his first 10 career games set a new franchise record.
Staff ace and presumed NL Cy Young frontrunner Sandy Alcantara quieted the Philadelphia bats to the tune of 1 hit over 5 scoreless innings, needing just 45 pitches to do so.
Then, an utter collapse ensued.
“It was really shocking,” said Don Mattingly.
Entering the bottom of the 8th with a 3-1 lead, it almost felt certain Alcantara would continue his run of efficient dominance.
“First we get that little dribbler, and it all just fell apart,” Mattingly noted.
It was a 70-foot dribbler off the bat of Jean Segura that set the stage for Miami’s downfall.
The succeeding five Phillies’ hitters' at-bats ended in said fashion: single, single (RBI), single (RBI), single, single (RBI).
The coup de grâce came in the form of that final hit, one off the bat of an old friend, J.T. Realmuto.
Gone was the lead as a familiar sense of failure seeped over the visitor’s dugout in Citizen’s Bank Park.
Hoping to avoid the sweep, Miami wraps up the road trip Thursday afternoon when they send Edward Cabrera (2-1, 2.61 ERA) to the mound to make his fifth start of the season. Cabrera is coming off 5-hitless innings on August 5th against the Cubs. Philadelphia will counter with Kyle Gibson (7-4, 4.36 ERA) as he enters looking for his 8th win of the season.
- With just 3 runs scored Wednesday, Miami has now gone 11 consecutive games without scoring 4 or more runs, making them the first team since the 2018 Giants to do so.
- For the first time since the end of his start on May 28th, Alcantara’s ERA starts with a 2, sitting at 2.01.