Tag Archives: Miami Marlins

As MLB All-Star break arrives, Braves in charge, Nats hot, Phils not in NL East race

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The Braves have taken charge of the NL East at the All-Star break

The Philadelphia Phillies (47-43) have arrived at the MLB All-Star break in third place in the National League East Division standings. They trail the Atlanta Braves by 6.5 games and are a half-game behind the Washington Nationals, but still control the second NL Wildcard playoff berth.

The Phillies captured a weekend series over the New York Mets at Citi Field by winning two of the three games, capped off by a rousing 8-3 victory in Sunday’s series finale. That followed on the heels of a series defeat after they dropped two of three to the first-place Atlanta Braves to open last week.
Now nearly three and a half months into the six-month long MLB regular season, the Phillies appear to be approaching a cross-roads. They led the division for all but seven days up until June 12, then were passed for second place by the Nats just this past week.
While the club has struggled to produce runs on a consistent basis over the traditional first-half of the season, their real problem has been on the mound. Phillies pitchers rank at or near the bottom of most important statistical categories. While the bullpen appears to finally be getting healthy, the starting rotation has become a complete mess.
The ability of general manager Matt Klentak to find a pair of more stable, veteran, productive starting pitchers prior to the trade deadline at the end of this month will likely prove pivotal to any hope of reaching the postseason.

If Klentak is unable to procure those new starters, even a bit of improvement from the offense is unlikely to keep them in contention through the dog days of August and the crucible of a September stretch run.

The 2019 MLB All-Star Game will take place at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday night. The lone Phillies representative will be J.T. Realmuto, who was selected as a back-up catcher for the National League.
As always, my NL East Beat report reveals how each of the Phillies divisional rivals fared over the course of the past week with a presentation of the standings, last week’s results, and the upcoming schedules for each club.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST DIVISION STANDINGS

EAST DIVISION

    <th aria-label="Win-Loss %" class=" poptip hide_non_quals center" data-filter="1" data-name="Win-Loss %" data-stat="win_loss_perc" data-tip="Win-Loss Percentage
    W / (W + L)
    For players, leaders need one decision for every ten team games.
    For managers, minimum to qualify for leading is 320 games.” scope=”col” style=”background-color: #dadcde; border-color: rgb(116, 118, 120) rgb(170, 170, 170); border-image: initial; border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; float: none !important; margin: 0px; opacity: initial; padding: 0px 12.375px; text-align: center;”>W-L%

    <th aria-label="Games Back" class=" poptip sort_default_asc center" data-stat="games_back" data-tip="Games Back of Division/League Leader
    Computed as games over .500 of leader (W-L) minus games over .500 of team divided by two.
    Typically computed at the end of play for a particular day.
    Blank for 1st game of DH.” scope=”col” style=”background-color: #dadcde; border-color: rgb(116, 118, 120) rgb(116, 118, 120) rgb(116, 118, 120) rgb(170, 170, 170); border-image: initial; border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; float: none !important; margin: 0px; opacity: initial; padding: 0px 12.375px; text-align: center;”>GB

    East Division
    Team W L
    Atlanta Braves 54 37 .593
    Washington Nationals 47 42 .528 6.0
    Philadelphia Phillies 47 43 .522 6.5
    New York Mets 40 50 .444 13.5
    Miami Marlins 33 55 .375 19.5

    ATLANTA BRAVES (4 – 2)

    Summary: The first-place Braves continued to win series as the month of July opened, beating the Phillies and Marlins in two of three games each last week.
    While it was nothing special, it demonstrated exactly the kind of consistent, winning performance that the Phillies had been producing over the season’s first two months.
    Upcoming: Atlanta will head out on the road following the All-Star break, visiting San Diego and Milwaukee for three games each.
    Player of the First HalfMike Soroka, SP
    NL All-Star repsFreddie Freeman 1B, Ronald Acuna Jr.OF, Mike Soroka SP

    MIAMI MARLINS (1 – 5)

    Summary: For a second straight week, Don Mattingly‘s Fish dropped five of six games, this time to the division’s top two ball clubs. The Washington Nationals swept the Marlins in D.C. to open the week, and then the Braves won two of three in Atlanta over the weekend.
    After a stretch of strong play from mid-May through mid-June, the Marlins have begun to collapse. They are just 3-9 over their last dozen contests, and their overall .375 winning percentage is the worst in the entire National League. However, their 8-7 mark against the Phillies is proving to be a major factor in the division race.
    Upcoming: The Marlins will be at home coming out of the break, hosting the New York Mets for three games over the weekend. The San Diego Padres then come to South Florida to open next week.
    Player of the First HalfGarrett Cooper, OF/1B
    NL All-Star repsSandy Alcantara P

    NEW YORK METS (2 – 3)

    Summary: A losing week has dropped the Mets to 10 games below the .500 mark on the season, with the second-worst record in the NL behind only the Marlins.
    They began last week with a two-game split of a Subway Series match-up with the New York Yankees. Then the Phillies came to Citi Field and took two of three over this past weekend. The Mets are seven games behind the Phillies for the second NL Wildcard, but would have to climb over nine other teams to get there as well.
    Upcoming: New York will come out of the break and head out on the road to begin a nine-game trip that will start in Miami over the weekend. The road trip will then take them to Minnesota for two with the AL Central-leading Twins and out to San Francisco for three with the Giants.
    Player of the First HalfPete Alonso, 1B
    NL All-Star repsPete Alonso 1B, Jeff McNeil 3B/OF

    WASHINGTON NATIONALS (5 – 1)

    Summary: The Nationals are white-hot after appearing to be on the verge of getting buried just a month ago. Since May 23, when they were 19-31 and sitting in fourth place, 10 games behind the first-place Phillies, Washington has gone 28-11 to overtake the Phils in the standings.
    This past week, the Nationals stayed hot by sweeping the Marlins at home to open the week. Then they took two of three over the weekend from the visiting Kansas City Royals.
    Upcoming: The Nats also come out of the break and head out on the road. It all starts with a visit to Citizens Bank Park this coming weekend to take on the Phillies in a showdown for second place in the NL East. The trip doesn’t take them geographically very far at all. Next week they will drive to Baltimore for a pair with the Orioles at Camden Yards. Then it’s down south for a huge four-game set next weekend in Atlanta.
    Player of the First HalfAnthony Rendon, 3B
    NL All-Star repsAnthony Rendon 3B, Max Scherzer P

    June bug Nats beginning to prove major pests in NL East

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    Anthony Rendon has led a Nationals charge back into the race

    The Philadelphia Phillies begin the month of July in a far different position than they started out the month of June.

    When the calendar made the flip from May to June, the Phillies were on top of the National League East Division standings. Their 33-24 record had the club three full games ahead of the Atlanta Braves to that point.
    The month of June was not kind to the Phillies, as the club stumbled to an 11-16 mark. Now, the Phillies begin July in second place, staring up at the Braves through a five-game deficit in the loss column.
    The Phillies went 5-2 over this past week, though it was a bit of a mixed bag of results. It began with an uplifting four-game sweep of the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. But this past weekend saw the Marlins capture two of three in Miami to take some wind out of the Phillies sails.
    This week’s upcoming games will lead into a four-day break for the MLB All-Star Game.
    As always, my NL East Beat report reveals how each of the Phillies divisional rivals fared over the course of the past week with a presentation of the standings, last week’s results, and the upcoming schedules for each club.

    NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST DIVISION STANDINGS

    EAST DIVISION

      <th aria-label="Win-Loss %" class=" poptip hide_non_quals center" data-filter="1" data-name="Win-Loss %" data-stat="win_loss_perc" data-tip="Win-Loss Percentage
      W / (W + L)
      For players, leaders need one decision for every ten team games.
      For managers, minimum to qualify for leading is 320 games.” scope=”col” style=”background-color: #dadcde; border-color: rgb(116, 118, 120) rgb(170, 170, 170); border-image: initial; border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; float: none !important; margin: 0px; opacity: initial; padding: 0px 12.375px; text-align: center;”>W-L%

      <th aria-label="Games Back" class=" poptip sort_default_asc center" data-stat="games_back" data-tip="Games Back of Division/League Leader
      Computed as games over .500 of leader (W-L) minus games over .500 of team divided by two.
      Typically computed at the end of play for a particular day.
      Blank for 1st game of DH.” scope=”col” style=”background-color: #dadcde; border-color: rgb(116, 118, 120) rgb(116, 118, 120) rgb(116, 118, 120) rgb(170, 170, 170); border-image: initial; border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; float: none !important; margin: 0px; opacity: initial; padding: 0px 12.375px; text-align: center;”>GB

      East Division
      Team W L
      Atlanta Braves 50 35 .588
      Philadelphia Phillies 44 40 .524 5.5
      Washington Nationals 42 41 .506 7.0
      New York Mets 38 47 .447 12.0
      Miami Marlins 32 50 .390 16.5

      ATLANTA BRAVES (4 – 3)

      Summary: Atlanta split a four-game set at Wrigley Field with the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs, then moved on to Citi Field where they took two of three from the struggling New York Mets.
      While the Phillies were stumbling through their losing June, the Braves went 20-8 to put themselves firmly in control. Now this young and talented ball club will to capture a second straight NL East crown.
      Upcoming: Following Monday’s off-day, the Braves return home from a 10-game road trip on which they went 6-4 to welcome in the Phillies for a huge three-game series at SunTrust Park. Then over the coming weekend they will receive a visit from the Miami Marlins.

      MIAMI MARLINS (1 – 5)

      Summary: The Marlins went 2-4 this past week, with both wins coming against the Phillies at Marlins Park over this past weekend. They had begun the week getting swept in a three-gamer by the visiting Washington Nationals.
      The Marlins competed tough by going 13-14 during the month of June, aided greatly by their 5-1 mark against the Phillies over the past two weekends. Still at 18 games below the .500 mark, with an extremely difficult schedule into early August, the Fish are likely about to get cleaned, scaled, and fried.
      Upcoming: After Monday’s off-day, the Marlins will be paying visits to a pair of division rivals, Washington and Atlanta, for a three-game series with each this week.

      NEW YORK METS (1 – 6)

      Summary: This was a devastating week for the Mets, who built a seven-game losing streak before finally snapping it in Sunday’s series finale with the Braves. They began the week getting swept by the previously ice-cold Phillies, then continued the skid by dropping the first two games to Atlanta at home.
      The month of June was even worse for New York than it was for the Phillies, if you can believe that. The Mets went just 10-18 during the month, plummeting from just a game below the .500 mark and five back in the division race to their current 12 games out.
      Upcoming: Following Monday’s off-day in the schedule it will be two at Citi Field with the New York Yankees in the continuation of this year’s Subway Series. The two local rivals split a day-night doubleheader at Yankee Stadium just three weeks ago. Then the Mets will welcome in the Phillies for three over the coming weekend.

      WASHINGTON NATIONALS (5 – 1)

      Summary: If the Braves are looking back in the standings with concern at anyone these days, it is probably more at the surging Nationals than the slumping Phillies. The Nats began the month of June nine games below .500 and a distant nine off the NL East lead.
      But then it all began to finally click. The Nationals went 18-8 during the month of June to push above the .500 mark. They still trail in the division by seven games, but are within a single game in the loss column of the Phillies and Rockies for the final NL Wildcard berth.
      This past week they swept the Marlins in Miami, then captured two of three Inter-league games at Detroit against the Tigers.
      Upcoming: The Nationals will be home all week following Monday’s off-day. They will try to keep it rolling with three games each against the Marlins and Kansas City Royals.

      As June comes to an end, Phillies look to snap skid vs Marlins

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      Phillies are desperate for a win at Marlins Park as June ends

      The Philadelphia Phillies (43-40) have fallen 6.5 games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves in the National League East Division standings.

      That difference can be almost entirely attributed to the two teams performance against the last-place Miami Marlins (32-49) this season.
      While the Braves have dominated the Fish with an 8-1 head-to-head record, the Marlins have gone 7-5 against the Phillies. That includes victories in the last five games between the teams over the last two weekends.
      While the Marlins continue to rank last in the entire National League in runs-per-game with their 3.62 mark, they also continue to defy their normal statistics when facing the Phillies pitching staff.
      In the last four victories between the two teams, the Miami offense has produced 26 runs. That means they have scored nearly three more runs-per-game in those contests than the Marlins hitters average as their normal result.
      When the series began, the key for the Phillies to get a series victory was to find a way to score against the stingy Marlins pitching staff while keeping their hitters in the ball park. Instead, the Fish bats have produced 23 hits including three long balls.
      It’s no longer about a series victory. This one is lost. It will make five of the last six series dropped by the Phillies. In fact, today will bring to an end a disastrous month of June in which the club has gone just 10-16 to this point. They began the month at nine games over the .500 mark with a three-game lead in the NL East. At this point, they just need a win.

      SUNDAY STARTING LINEUPS

      PHILLIES

      1. Scott Kingery CF
      2. Jean Segura SS
      3. Bryce Harper RF
      4. Rhys Hoskins 1B
      5. J.T. Realmuto C
      6. Cesar Hernandez 2B
      7. Brad Miller LF
      8. Maikel Franco 3B
      9. Jake Arrieta P
      Jay Bruce remains out of the lineup, day-to-day for now with a sore elbow.

      MARLINS

      1. Miguel Rojas SS
      2. Harold Ramirez RF
      3. Garrett Cooper 1B
      4. Brian Anderson 3B
      5. Curtis Granderson LF
      6. Starlin Castro 2B
      7. Jorge Alfaro C
      8. JT Riddle CF
      9. Trevor Richards P
      Former Phillies catcher Alfaro is 0-5 since returning from a stint on the IL due to the MLB concussion protocol. He was the “Spotlight Player” in our series opposition preview of the Marlins, which contains some revealing information worth looking back on before the finale.

      SHIBE VINTAGE SPORTS STARTING PITCHING MATCHUP

      PHILLIES – Jake Arrieta: 7-6, 4.33 ERA, 99 hits over 97.2 IP across 16 starts with a 75/39 K:BB. The 33-year-old right-hander has given the Phillies six innings in each of this last three outings. But while the first two of those were strong, he was tuned up by the Mets his last time out for five earned and nine hits including two homers in a game the team eventually won. He started twice in April vs Miami, dominating them on April 12 in Marlins Park, but getting hit hard in an April 27 start against Richards (below), one that the Phillies would win by 12-9.
      MARLINS – Trevor Richards: 3-8, 3.94 ERA, 76 hits over 89 IP across 16 starts with an 80/38 K:BB. The 26-year-old right-hander was signed as an undrafted free agent in July 2016. Made his MLB debut last season, making 25 starts as a rookie. He has five starts already against the Phillies, going 1-3 with a 6.64 ERA. The Phillies beat him up on April 27 at Citizens Bank Park for five earned runs on six hits including two home runs over just four innings.

      PHILLIES NUGGETS PREGAME NOTES

      • The Phillies are now 5-10 during a month-long stretch of games against only divisional competition. There are 11 games left in that stretch, including today.
      • Following an off-day on Monday, the Phillies will remain on the road all of the coming week. There will be three games with the first-place Braves followed by three at Citi Field against the struggling New York Mets next weekend.
      • The MLB All-Star Game reserves are scheduled to be announced later today. The odds are that the Phillies will get just one representative for the National League team. That will probaby be either catcher J.T. Realmuto or reliever Hector Neris.

      TICKET IQ PROGRAMMING INFORMATION

      Phillies head to South Florida seeking revenge on the Miami Marlins

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      Phillies visit Marlins Park seeking revenge

      The Philadephia Phillies (43-38) are down in South Florida for a weekend meeting with the host Miami Marlins (30-49) at Marlins Park.

      Coming off an uplifting four-game sweep of the New York Mets, the Phillies will be looking to extend their winning streak and avenge last weekend’s home sweep at the hands of the Fish.
      A week ago at Citizens Bank Park, the Marlins took all three games by holding the Phillies to just eight runs scored. By the end of that series, the Phillies had dropped seven games in a row and their season was spiraling out of control.
      While the Mets series allowed the Phillies to regain their positive mojo, they cannot afford to give any of that momentum back. Just as they were last weekend, the Marlins are the owners of the worst record in the National League. They came home from Philadelphia and were promptly swept by the Washington Nationals.
      The Marlins offense has generated just 3.52 runs-per-game, the worst run production in the NL and second-lowest scoring average in all of Major League Baseball. Their 60 home runs are the least in all of baseball and their .646 OPS is the lowest in the game.
      That lack of power has not translated in their meetings with the Phillies. The Miami hitters have blasted 11 of their 60 home runs this season over 10 previous games between the two teams, resulting in a 5-5 split.
      While they generally suffer to score, at least when playing the other 28 teams in baseball, the Marlins pitching staff has been strong. The cumulative batting average against mark of .242 is tied for the 6th best in the game. The Miami pitchers have surrendered just 94 home runs, tied for the fourth-most stingy staff in baseball.
      The challenge for the Phillies this weekend will be the same as last. Find a way to score against Marlins pitching. The Phillies have scored 45 runs in the 10 meetings. That is a mediocre 4.5 runs-per-game, and it is exaggerated by two games in which the Phillies hitters produced 21 runs. That means in the other eight games, the Phillies have averaged just 4.375 runs.
      Also, Phillies pitching is going to have to start holding the Marlins hitters in the park themselves, the same way those other 28 pitching staffs have been doing.

      MIAMI MARLINS

      TOP LINEUP THREATS

      Brian Anderson: The 26-year-old third baseman leads the Fish with 10 homers, 26 extra-base hits, and 34 RBIs
      Garrett Cooper: 28-year-old right fielder slashing .311/.379/.490 has 7 homers, 12 extra-base hits, and 23 RBIs in just 169 plate appearances
      Miguel Rojas: 30-year-old shortstop hitting .286 with a .350 OBP leads the club with 19 doubles and a half-dozen steals
      Neil Walker: 33-year-old first baseman hitting .280 with a .362 OBP has 14 XBH over 177 plate appearances. Just activated this past week after spending a month on the IL
      Harold Ramirez: 25-year-old rookie playing mostly LF is slashing .313/.348/.407 with 21 runs and 18 RBIs over just 158 plate appearances after being promoted on May 11
      Starlin Castro: 29-year-old second baseman is second on the club with 32 RBIs and always seems to do something against the Phillies

      SPOTLIGHT PLAYER

      Jorge Alfaro: the 26-year-old catcher was traded to the Fish from the Phillies along with top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez and another prospect arm in exchange for J.T. Realmuto back in early February. He came to the Phillies as part of a big package received in the Cole Hamels deal with Texas at the 2015 MLB trade deadline.
      Alfaro’s status for this series is currently up in the air. He is currently on the IL under the seven-day concussion protocol. In a game last Thursday against the Saint Louis Cardinals, Alfaro was hit in the mask by a back-swing of former Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna. He later took a foul ball off the mask as well. He is eligible to be activated as early as the series opener on Friday, and will be a day-to-day decision at this point.
      Prior to his IL stint, Alfaro was one of the Marlins top run producers. Their regular starting catcher, his nine homers are second and his 24 RBIs are third among all Miami hitters.

      SCHEDULED STARTING PITCHERS

      FRIDAY – Elieser Hernandez: 0-2, 4.34 ERA, 1.179 WHIP, 18 hits over 18.2 IP across four games (three starts) with a 19/4 K:BB ratio. The 24-year-old right-hander in his second big-league season went five innings last weekend, allowing three earned on four hits including a pair of homers. He struck out six and walked two and left with the Phillies up 3-1. The Marlins rallied to win 5-3 after he was out.
      SATURDAY – Jordan Yamamoto: 3-0, 0.95 ERA, 0.789 WHIP, seven hits over 19 IP across three starts with a 19/8 K:BB ratio. The 23-year-old righty rookie from Hawaii came to the Marlins from the Milwaukee Brewers in January 2018 as part of a four-prospect package for Christian Yelich. This will be his third big-league start. He allowed just two hits and two earned in a five-inning start last weekend at Citizens Bank Park, earning the victory in a 6-4 Marlins win. Yamamoto has won each of his three starts to this point.
      SUNDAY – Trevor Richards: 3-8, 3.94 ERA, 1.281 WHIP, 76 hits over 89 IP across 16 starts with an 80/38 K:BB ratio. The 26-year-old righty is in his second big-league season after signing as an undrafted free agent back in July 2016. The Phillies got to him for five earned on six hits including a pair of homers over four innings in a 12-9 victory back on April 27 in Miami.

      THE SKIPPER

      Don Mattingly: As a ballplayer, Mattingly was a New York Yankees legend who played his entire 14-year big-league career in the Bronx. The 1985 AL MVP and runner-up for the award the following year, he was one of the top players of the second half of the 1980’s. Mattingly made six consecutive AL All-Star teams as a first baseman from 1984-89, and won nine AL Gold Glove Awards at the position. He also won three straight Silver Sluggers 1985-87.
      Mattingly served as the Los Angeles Dodgers manager for five years 2011-15, guiding the Dodgers to three straight NL West crowns in his final three seasons. Over parts of four seasons now in Miami he has fashioned a 249-314 record and been at the helm as the franchise has undergone a major personnel teardown and rebuild process.

      THE BALLPARK

      Marlins Park has been renovated for the 2019 season. Perhaps the most noticeable difference for fans in Philly watching this series on television will be the removal of the massive and colorful home run sculpture that adorned center field since the ballpark opened for the 2012 season.
      The dimensions are 344 down the left field line and 335 to right field. A big ballpark, the right- and left-center power alleys are 392 and 386 feet away respectively. It will be a 407 foot shot to dead-center field.
      Located on the site of the old Orange Bowl, Marlins Park sits in the Little Havana section of the city, just two miles west of the downtown Miami area. At a 37,442 normal seating capacity, it is the third-smallest ballpark in Major League Baseball. It is also one of six MLB parks with a retractable roof, so weather is unlikely to play any role this weekend.

      Marlins send Phillies to sixth straight defeat on a hit that was ten years in the making

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      Wilkin Castillo waited a decade to deliver the game-winning hit

      This is not a recording. The Philadelphia Phillies (39-37) lost (again) on Saturday, this time by a 5-3 score, when their bullpen collapsed (again) to blow a late-innings lead. And this was a second consecutive loss to the Miami Marlins (29-46), the team with by far the worst record in the National League.

      It marks a sixth consecutive defeat for the Phillies. Eight out of nine, and 10 of their last 12, have resulted in their finishing on the lower side of the final score. The have won just six times over their last 20 games.
      That is more than a losing skid, or a poor stretch of games. For a team that was 11 games over the .500 mark and in first place when it all began to slowly unravel, this is a complete and utter collapse. For fans, it has been excruciating to endure. Nothing changed this afternoon.
      So they are 6-14 over the last three weeks. That is a .300 winning percentage. The lowest winning percentage right now by any team in Major League Baseball over this full season is the .286 mark owned by the woeful Baltimore Orioles. But the O’s at least won today, ending their own 10-game losing streak. Maybe the Phillies aren’t the worst team in the game right now, but you would have a hard time convincing the fan base.
      There were hopeful signs early on. Vince Velasquez, given a second (third? fourth?) chance to demonstrate that he might be a viable starting pitcher took the ball and ran with it. He allowed just one hit, a third inning solo home run by JT Riddle, over five innings. Velasquez struck out five, walked none, and was in command the entire time, throwing 40 strikes among his 50 pitches.
      In the bottom of that 3rd inning, the Phillies offense responded in a manner that fans have been waiting for all season. Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins slammed back-to-back home runs for the first time all year to put the Phillies on top 2-1.

      Then in the bottom of the 5th inning, the Phillies manufactured another run. Cesar Hernandez grounded a single, moved to second on a wild pitch by Marlins starter Elieser Hernandez, and scored when Harper slashed a base hit to the opposite field, beating the exaggerated shift put on against him by Marlins skipper Don Mattingly.

      Phillies manager Gabe Kapler wasn’t around to see that one cross the plate. He was tossed for the first time in his career an inning earlier after a spirited argument with the umpiring crew. He also wasn’t around to watch as his bullpen gave away that 3-1 lead.
      The Marlins scored three times in the top of the 7th inning to regain the lead. Adam Morgan, newly activated from a stint on the Injured List, came out rusty. The lefty committed the cardinal baseball sin of walking the leadoff man, Garrett Cooper. Morgan then surrendered consecutive base hits to Brian Anderson and Starlin Castro, the latter hit scoring Cooper and cutting the Phillies lead to 3-2.
      The Phillies nearly escaped the inning with the lead intact when Cesar Puello hit into a fielder’s choice. Hoskins fielded his grounder, fired home to J.T. Realmuto, who fired to third baseman Brad Miller, getting Anderson. Morgan then got Riddle to pop out to shortstop for the second out.
      With runners at first and second and two outs, bench coach Rob Thomson, subbing for the ejected Kapler, chose to bring in Edubray Ramos to face switch-hitter Wilkin Castillo. The 35-year-old catcher hadn’t appeared in a big-league game since 2009, and was hitless on the day. So Castillo didn’t have a hit in Major League Baseball for a full decade. Now he does.
      Castillo wasted no time, ripping a two-run double to right field that scored Castro and Puello, pushing the Fish into the lead at 4-3. In the top of the 8th, the Marlins got an insurance run when Cooper singled off J.D. Hammer to score Curtis Granderson, who had doubled.

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      Wilkin Castillo last played a MLB game on June 20th, 2009.

      He now has a hit streak that spans 10 years.

      242 people are talking about this

      For Castillo, the hit was a rush, helping justify his decade-long journey through the minor leagues with six different organizations.
      “It was something indescribable,” Castillo said through an interpreter per Paul Casella for MLB.com. “It’s a lot of effort, just playing winter ball in the Dominican League, the Mexican League, the Minor Leagues for 10 years. So just being up here and see things happening, I thank God, and I thank the Marlins for giving me the opportunity to be here at the Major League level.
      In the bottom of the 8th, the Phillies got a leadoff single from Hernandez. But then Harper, who was 2-2 with a walk to that point of the game, grounded into a 6-3 double play. The Marlins would take their 5-3 lead into the 9th inning.
      The Phillies loaded the bases with two outs in the 9th on a double by Jean Segura, a single by Scott Kingery, and a walk to pinch-hitter Roman Quinn. That brought Hernandez to the plate again, this time with a chance to really become a hero. Instead, he popped weakly to second and the losing streak was extended.
      The Marlins will go for the sweep on Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies will try to end this losing streak. It will end at some point. Yet even when it does, it will serve to prove nothing. This team needs a run in the other direction, an extended winning stretch where the offense is clicking, or their season is going to completely disintegrate before our eyes.

      Right now, the Phillies look like the worst team in Major League Baseball. Certainly in the National League. If they aren’t, if this is just a losing skid or a “phase”, then it’s well past time to prove it. You can only talk about your alleged talent for so long before having to back up that talk by actually winning ball games. Even one game.