The Phillies slipped back into their losing ways Sunday afternoon. They could not hold an early lead and suffered a 6-4 defeat to the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.
Where they stand
The Phillies are 76-72.
They entered the day trailing first-place Atlanta by 6 ½ games in the NL East. Atlanta was in action at Washington.
The Phillies have 14 games to play, half of them against the Braves.
But first, the Phils must play their next three games are against the New York Mets at home.
The Phils are just 6-10 on the season against the Mets. The Phillies will face Zach Wheeler, Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard, respectively, in the three-game series. The Phils, who have no margin for error, will counter with Jake Arrieta, Aaron Nola and Zach Eflin.
Things were looking good...
For a while, at least, on Sunday afternoon.
Starting pitcher Nick Pivetta looked to have exceptional stuff early in the game against the Marlins. Seven of his first nine outs came via strikeouts.
Pivetta too a 1-0 lead into the fourth inning, thanks to a solo homer by Cesar Hernandez in the first inning.
In the fourth, Pivetta allowed two hits, one of which was a two-run homer to Peter O’Brien with two outs. Pivetta might have gotten out of the inning unscathed if shortstop J.P. Crawford had been able to turn a double play, but his throw was off the mark.
Pivetta exited for a pinch-hitter in the fifth.
More than a few boos
Reliever Luis Garcia gave up four hits and three runs in the sixth inning. He threw a wild pitch that resulted in a run. There was some rather loud booing after that. Can’t blame the fans. The Phillies were in first place, 1 ½ game up after a win on August 5. Since then, they are 13-24.
Not enough offense
The Phillies scored just three runs after Hernandez’s leadoff homer in the first and one was a gift after a Marlins' error in the ninth.
They were down, 6-2, with two outs in the seventh inning and runners on second and third. They had the guy they wanted at the plate in Rhys Hoskins, but he took a called third strike from Kyle Barraclough to end the inning.
Hoskins had another big chance with two outs in the ninth and the Phils down by two. He struck out with a man on second to end the game.
A stat that hurt
The Phillies were 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position in the first 8 2/3 innings.
They had just five hits through the first 8 2/3 innings.
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