The Philadelphia Phillies have one of the top trios in baseball at the front end of their starting rotation. A quarter of the way into the season, Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler and Zach Eflin sport a 3.29 ERA in 27 starts.
Yet, the Phillies are not capitalizing on enough of those starts. They are 14-13 in games started by Nola, Wheeler, and Eflin.
On Wednesday night, the Phillies wasted a good outing from Eflin on their way to a 3-1 loss to the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.
The loss dropped the Phillies to 22-21.
Here’s three takeaways:
Andrew McCutchen’s sixth homer in 17 games this month — a solo shot in the sixth inning — represented the extent of the Phillies’ offense.
The Phillies finished the night with just seven hits and two came in the ninth inning. They went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and the hit they got did not score a run.
One night after rallying for seven runs in the eighth inning to erase a 3-1 deficit, the Phils put runners on the corners with one out in the ninth, but Miami reliever Yimi Garcia struck out Alec Bohm and retired Andrew Knapp on a fly ball to deep right-center to end it.
Rookie left-hander Trevor Rogers continued his brilliant work this season for Miami. He pitched 7 2/3 innings, allowed five hits, walked two and struck out eight.
Rogers is 6-2 with a 1.74 ERA in nine starts this season.
Rogers is just 23 years old. The Marlins selected him out of his Carlsbad, New Mexico high school, 13th overall in the first round of the 2017 draft, five picks after the Phillies took Adam Haseley.
Eflin allowed just six hits and two runs over six walk-free innings. He was done in by a solo homer, a broken-bat single through a drawn-in infield, and a lack of offensive support.
Eflin allowed a solo homer to Brian Anderson on a hanging sinker in the second.
The Marlins built their lead to 2-0 in the top of the sixth. Miguel Rojas stroked a double down the third base line, moved up on a fly ball and scored on a broken-bat single by Adam Duvall that tipped off the glove of a lunging Bohm at third.
The infield was in at the time. It’s tough to say definitively whether Bohm should have made a play on Rojas’ leadoff double or Duvall’s broken-bat hit that came off the bat at 81 mph. It’s a game of inches and the Phillies came up several inches short several times on defense.
In addition to pitching a gem, Rogers stroked his first big-league hit in the top of the seventh inning to load the bases against Brandon Kintzler. Rogers’ hit went through the left side as the Phillies were in a bunt defense.
The Marlins got the run home on Jazz Chisholm’s dribbler up the third-base line. Garrett Cooper, running from third, dodged Knapp’s lunging tag attempt. Cooper appeared to leave the base line. Phillies manager Joe Girardi stated his case to the umpires. Base line plays are not reviewable. That run gave the Marlins a 3-1 lead.
Struggles vs. the Fish
The Phils are 4-8 against the Marlins since the start of last season.
The 22-21 Phillies will try and win the series Thursday night in the series finale vs. the 19-23 Marlins.