A few things about Friday night’s loss, which was inarguably the Phillies’ worst of the season and maybe their worst loss ever to the Marlins.
What happened last night should never happen. The Marlins are a pitiful offense that entered Friday night ranked last in the majors in OPS and 29th in runs scored.
At home, in massive Marlins Park, Miami had been averaging 3.9 runs and 2.4 extra-base hits per game. Against the Phillies Friday night, the Marlins scored 19 and had seven extra-base hits.
The Marlins came into existence in 1993. Never in those 27 years had the Phillies given up 19 runs to Miami. The 19 hits were also the most the Phillies have ever allowed to the Marlins.
Last night was the first game in recorded Phillies history that they led by at least seven runs and lost by at least seven.
Considering the Marlins had scored more than seven runs only 10 times in their previous 126 games, it had to feel in the moment like a slam-dunk win. And yet ...
The 8-run deficit
These teams have met 449 times. The Phillies have suffered a loss by more than eight runs just eight times. In other words, it’s happened once every 56 meetings.
The big picture
The Phillies are fighting for their playoff lives. The Marlins are 46-81 and on pace to lose 103 games.
The Phillies had just come off an improbable two-game sweep of the Red Sox at Fenway. The next two opponents after that are the two worst teams in the NL: Miami and Pittsburgh. If ever the opportunity for that elusive five-game win streak existed, it was now. Now, the Phillies will need to win the next two in Miami and sweep the Pirates to achieve that.
Consider also that the teams the Phillies are chasing continue to win.
The Nationals have won 8 of 10, scored 81 runs in their last seven games and have separated themselves from the wild-card pack. The Phillies trail the Nats by 4.5 games.
The Mets lost in extra innings to the Braves Friday night but had won five in a row before that. They’re 21-5 since July 25.
The Cardinals have won 7 of 10 to move a half-game ahead of the Cubs for the NL Central lead. For the Phillies to make the playoffs, they’ll need to catapult both the Mets and whichever NL Central team does not win the division.
The Phillies just aren’t as good as the teams they’re chasing. Here are the playoff odds per team, according to Fangraphs as of today. These take into account each team’s remaining schedule and projected performance.
The Marlins are 11-36 against the Braves, Nationals and Mets. Over a full season, that is a 38-124 pace.
And yet the Marlins are 8-6 against the Phillies. They have outscored the Phillies by one run and been outscored by 149 runs when facing anyone else.
Simply unacceptable. Friday counted as one loss by definition but looked and felt much worse than that in the bigger picture.
We all said entering the season that success against the Marlins could determine the NL East. Well, everyone but the Phillies has done what they’re supposed to do against this lowly Miami team. If/when the Phillies miss the playoffs, their 2019 performance against Miami will be one of the main storylines we remember from this frustrating season.
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