With a series finale in Miami and a three-game homestand against the Atlanta Braves remaining in their season, the Phillies are headed for a possible massive overhaul this offseason. Now that every National League playoff spot has been filled, these last four games have, well, no real meaning. However, if you're a fan of Phillies baseball, you savor every moment left this team has left, knowing the long five month period awaits. One of the most appealing surprises of this campaign, starting pitcher David Buchanan, got the ball one last time in this evening's matchup. Tom Koehler stood in for the Marlins.
The Game: Unlike the first two games in this series, each team began scoring early on. That got started with a Ben Revere leadoff single, folowed by a steal of second. Cody Asche flew out, but Chase Utley stepped in with an RBI single. With a 1-0 lead, Buchanan almost immediately gave it right back up. Two straight singles by Christian Yelich and Donovan Solano, coupled with a questionable Domonic Brown throw, put two runners in scoring position. The first would score on a Casey McGehee sacrifice fly, and the other on a third single by Garrett Jones. After just one frame, Miami was on top 2-1.
From that point forward, each pitcher regained their stability. Despite allowing a total of nine hits and striking out no one, Buchanan left the game in the sixth with just the two runs allowed. Antonio Bastardo would wrap up that frame scoreless, and cleared up Buchanan's line. In the top half of that inning, the Phillies got a hold of Koehler.
It began with the Phillies pitching staff's second double of the series. After Kyle Kendrick had one of his own last evening, David Buchanan led off the sixth with his first career extra-base hit. Revere singled, but Asche would pop up for the first out. Utley collected a double of his own, and allowed Buchanan to come around and score. A strikeout of Ryan Howard became the second out of the inning, but Domonic Brown made the Marlins pay by doubling home both runners. The Phillies then held a 4-2 lead.
With the stretch the Phillies bullpen had been on of late, the game seemed to be heading in the right direction. Jake Diekman came on to pitch the seventh, and began by serving up singles to both Adeiny Hechavarria and Reed Johnson. A wild pitch moved both runners up. Diekman nearly got the first out, but the ground ball went directly between Asche's legs at third, allowing a run to score. Three more would be plated in the inning, with Solano singling to tie it and Casey McGehee doubling to put Miami ahead. Luis Garcia came in to finish the frame, but not before the Marlins gained the 6-4 lead.
Philadelphia's offense had nothing for the Miami pitching staff going forward, and that 6-4 score held until the end. The Marlins took the game, and the series, sending the Phillies back home with just three games remaining.
Notable Offensive Performances
Ben Revere: 2-for-4, 2 R
Chase Utley: 2-for-4, 1 R, 2 RBI
David Buchanan: 1-for-1, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 BB
Up Next: The Phillies begin their final homestand of 2014, sending Jerome Williams to the mound in the 7:05 game. Atlanta will counter with Ervin Santana on the bump.
Andrew Gillen, Managing Editor of Philliedelphia.com