For a while, it looked like defense was going to save the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night. But of course, it killed them. Again. The Phillies blew a one-run lead in the bottom of the eighth inning and suffered a 4-2 loss to the Miami Marlins in South Florida.
The loss dropped the Phillies to 24-26. They are 3-7 in Miami over the last two seasons.
Here’s three takeaways:
Defense kills the Phils
The Phillies are the worst defensive team in the majors.
Two innings after Odubel Herrera’s leaping gem at the centerfield (more on that later), the Phillies’ defense imploded. A potential double play went unturned. Catcher Andrew Knapp allowed a passed ball to put two runners in scoring position. Jon Berti then gave the Marlins the lead with a two-run single and Jose Devers followed with an RBI single to give the Marlins a two-run lead.
All the runs came against reliever Sam Coonrod.
The Phillies have scored just four runs the last two nights against Miami.
The Phillies took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning. Roman Quinn led off the inning with a double and scored when Brad Miller was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and one out. The situation was good for the Phillies to get more in the inning, but they failed to do so as Rhys Hoskins grounded out and Herrera struck out to leave the bases full.
Without three of their best bats out of the lineup — Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, and Didi Gregorius are all on the injured list — the Phillies need to improve on their ability to capitalize on mistakes and manufacture runs. They did that in taking a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning.
Jean Segura reached base on an error to open the inning and moved to third on a base hit by Miller. Segura was running on the play, made third base easily and scored on a sacrifice fly by Hoskins, who increased his team-high RBI total to 30.
Phillies starter Aaron Nola pitched six innings of one-run ball and left with a lead after Herrera robbed a would-be home run from Isan Diaz to end the sixth.
Nola battled command issues — he walked three and hit a batter — but was able to hold the Marlins to two hits and a run over six innings.
Instead of going for a series win in Miami on Thursday, they will look for a series split behind starter Spencer Howard.
Howard’s pitch limit should be around the same as last time, 70-75 pitches.