Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Phillies drop both ends of doubleheader with Marlins

Philadelphia hurler Aaron Nola faltered for the second consecutive game
Even if you're a diehard baseball fan it was tough to sit through both contests of Tuesday's twin bill between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Miami Marlins. The Phillies are just that bad right now.

A combined seven hours of baseball resulted in a 12-8 loss in the afternoon opener followed by a 7-4 defeat in the nightcap. The scores indicated both games were actually closer than they really were.

Aaron Nola, who had pitched spectacularly since the All-Star break prior to his last start sputtered yet again and Nick Pivetta failed to get through the second inning of the second contest but not before surrendering six runs on seven hits, including a pair of long balls.

All told, Phillies pitchers surrendered 27 hits on the day to the Marlins.

"A tough day for the Phillies," said manager Pete Mackanin.

Perhaps the lone bright spot on the day was the bullpen that combined to toss 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball in Game 2 following Pivetta's exit. Edubray Ramos led the way with three shutout innings while Yacksel Rios, making his major league debut, tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings of his own walking one and striking out two.

Pivetta has shown glimpses of being major league ready, but inconsistency has proven otherwise. His 6.73 ERA is the highest for a Phillies pitcher over his first 19 career starts since Hal Elliot’s 7.45 mark in 1929-30.

“It’s difficult,” Pivetta said. “I failed the team today, failed myself. I’ll go back to triple A, work hard, and get back up here eventually.”

Location again was an issue as he was aiming pitches rather than attacking the strike zone with confidence while moving pitches in and out over the plate. Marlins' hitters seemed too comfortable at the plate.

"He just didn't have it today," Mackanin said. "There's not a lot you can say about it."

As for Nola, he's now surrendered 12 runs over his past two starts.

“Getting balls up,” Nola said. “Getting behind in the count. Leadoff walks. Not getting the leadoff guy out every inning. I think that’s hurt me.”

At the plate for the Phillies, Tommy Joseph snapped an 0-for-18 skid and homered in each contest. Rhys Hoskins also homered marking the sixth time he's gone yard in his last eight games, a first for a Phillies' rookie.

The two clubs continue their four-game set Wednesday night with Mark Leiter Jr. set to oppose lefty Justin Nicolino.

Leiter allowed eight runs (four earned) in five innings in his last start on Aug. 15 in San Diego.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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