The Philadelphia Phillies have found numerous ways to lose games this season, but their 12-4 defeat to the Cincinnati Reds on Monday may have been the most infuriating.
The Reds erased a two-point deficit by scoring four runs in the seventh inning, then added six more in the eighth to stun the Phillies.
The Phillies will look to catch up when they open a three-game streak against visiting Miami Marlins on Tuesday. Philadelphia has lost nine of their last 13 games, while Miami has lost five of their last seven.
Neftali Feliz was charged Monday with the Phillies’ 21st missed save of the season. The deductible record is 25, set in 2004.
“A lot of our mistakes were defensive,” said Phillies manager Joe Girardi. “So, I mean, you can put it on the bullpen, but it was defense. Every crucial inning, we had a mistake that led to points. Racing leads to extra pitches for pitchers. Pitchers don’t go that deep. Bullpen guys can’t go that often. You can’t just watch what a baserunner does to allow. It changes a lot of things. “
The Phillies bullpen recorded the worst ERA in the major leagues last season, 7.06. After a decent start this season, the bullpen has been brutal in recent weeks, with the ERA of the relievers climbing to 4.44.
“The bottom line is that if you make a decision in the ninth inning and it doesn’t work, you will be criticized. That’s fine,” Girardi said.
The Phillies should have some extra help on the pitch on Tuesday, though, as they should activate Jean Segura before the game. Segura, who was beating 332, has been on the injury list since June 16 due to a groin injury.
Vince Velasquez (2-2, 4.74 ERA) will make his 12th start to the season for Philadelphia. In his career against the Marlins, he is 5-4 with a 4.54 ERA in 18 starts. He defeated them 2-0 in Miami on May 25 when he pitched six closed innings.
The Marlins arrive in Philadelphia after a four-game split with the visiting Washington Nationals. Miami had a day off on Monday.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly believes his club is better than last place in the National League East, particularly thanks to the quality of its pitching staff.
“When you have that kind of throw, you are able to go on a reel,” Mattingly said. “I just know I’ve seen it in the past. It’s a possibility.”
The attack has been inconsistent all season, but the talent is there.
“Those shots start and the streaks have been amazing,” Mattingly said. “We can get to 10 in a row. And I believe it, and again I might be wrong, but I believe it, and I want them to feel it because I’m not a guy who will sit there and go very high if we’re playing well and I will not stoop when we are not playing well. “
Marlins Tuesday starter, rookie Trevor Rogers (7-4, 2.08 ERA), has been one of the best pitchers in the NL all season. For his career against the Phillies, Rogers is 1-1 with a 5.74 ERA in three starts.
In Rogers’ latest start, on Wednesday he gave up five hits and three runs in five innings against the Toronto Blue Jays. The 23-year-old left-handed didn’t seem as effective as in previous starts.
“He seemed a little out of sync,” Rogers said after the game. “Today was my eighth day. Extra nervous, extra adrenaline. It’s been a week and a few changes since my last outing.”
–Average at the field level