Playing with four reserves in the lineup, and a starting pitcher who basically began the season as an afterthought in the bullpen, the Philadelphia Phillies pulled off a 2-0 win over the Miami Marlins in South Florida on Tuesday night.
The Phillies won despite getting just two hits and none in the final five innings.
The Phillies were without Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, and Didi Gregorius, all of whom are on the injured list. In addition, leftfielder Andrew McCutchen got a day off. Matt Joyce started in right field in place of Harper, Andrew Knapp at catcher in place of Realmuto, Nick Maton at shortstop in place of Gregorius, and Brad Miller in left field in place of McCutchen.
The win was just the Phillies’ second in their last seven games and only their fifth in their last 15 games against the Marlins, dating to last season.
The Phils are 24-25. The Marlins are 23-25.
Here’s three takeaways:
Unbelievable pitching performance from Velasquez
Phillies starter Vince Velasquez, who had seemingly run out of chances as a starter over five inconsistent seasons, started the year as a long man in the bullpen and moved into the rotation after Matt Moore struggled and ended up in COVID-19 protocol. In six starts since moving into the rotation, Velasquez has pitched 31 1/3 innings and allowed eight earned runs for a 2.30 ERA.
Velasquez had not pitched six scoreless innings in a game since August 3, 2018. Tuesday night’s performance came five days after the right-hander had to be scratched from his scheduled start because of numbness in his right index finger.
Velasquez was cleared medically and got four outs in relief on Friday to get back on track.
Velasquez was not flawless Tuesday. He allowed three hits and three walks but pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the third.
He also was backed by some good defense as catcher Andrew Knapp and centerfielder Odubel Herrera took turns throwing out Miami’s Jazz Chisholm at third base and second base, respectively.
On the day Harper became the latest regular to go on the injured list, the Phillies got a big hit from one of their healthy players.
Rhys Hoskins had an excellent at-bat leading up to his 10th homer of the season. He was down 0-2 in the count to Miami’s starter Sandy Alcantara and fouled off three pitches before launching a 1-2 fastball clocked at 99.8 mph over the left field wall.
Alcantara pitched a strong game. He held the Phillies to just two hits over eight innings. Both of the hits came in the fourth inning. Jean Segura singled with one out and Hoskins homered with two outs.
Good stuff from the pen
Sam Coonrod, Jose Alvarado, and Hector Neris combined on nine outs to complete the shutout.
Third baseman Alec Bohm, who has struggled defensively, made a nice play behind Neris for the first out in the bottom of the ninth.
Neris retired dangerous Corey Dickerson on a popout to center field with a man on first base to end the game.
The series continues on Wednesday night. Aaron Nola pitches for the Phillies. The Marlins starter is TBD.