Photo Courtsey of Philliedelphia writer, Matt Rappa
Tonight, the Phillies opened up a series against division rivals, the Miami Marlins. After getting swept by the Brewers, the Phillies were looking to get back on track. The Phillies struggled in the series, being outscored 25 to 10. Errors and defense were also major factors in the sweep.
Phillies sent right-hander A.J. Burnett is the mound. Burnett has struggled a bit this season, especially with walks and getting ahead in the count. Going into tonight, Burnett is 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 11.2 innings. In that period, Burnett has allowed eight walks, which is something he’d like to take back control of.
Burnett was opposed by Marlins’ ace, Jose Fernandez. Fernandez is an incredible young pitcher for the Marlins. Last season, Fernandez had a 2.19 ERA in 28 games. The only pitcher to have a lower ERA was Kershaw for the Dodgers. So far this season, Fernandez has a 0.71 ERA in his first two starts, getting the win in both.
The Game: In the first inning, the Phillies struck early. With one out, Jimmy Rollins singled, but was out at second on a force out by Chase Utley. Followed by a walk by Ryan Howard, Marlon Byrd double high off the wall, which just missed for his second homerun in as many days. Domonic Brown followed with a single to score Howard, but Giancarlo Stanton threw out Byrd at the plate. 2-0 Phillies
The Marlins weren’t going to let the Phillies hold the lead long. With one out, Casey MacGehee worked a walk. Jarrod Saltalamacchia grounded into a force at second for the second out. Burnett then hung a fastball to Derek Dietrich for his second homerun of the year. 2-2 tie
In the bottom of the third, the Phillies took advantage of a shaking Fernandez to retake the lead. Following back-to-back lead off walks to Tony Gwynn and Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley singled to load the bases. Ryan Howard then worked a bases load walk to plate Tony Gwynn. Unfortunately, Fernandez struck out the side to end the threat. 3-2 Phillies
In the top of the fifth, A.J. Burnett continued his shaky night. Marcell Ozuna singled to lead off the inning. After a strikeout of Giancarlo Stanton, Garret Jones and Casey McGehee worked walks to load the bases. That would end the night for Burnett who appeared to be injured. Later it was announced, A.J. Burnett has a pulled groin muscle. Jake Diekman came in out the pen. Diekman was lights out and struck out both Saltalamacchia and Dietrich. In the bottom of the inning, Jimmy Rollins lead off with a triple. Utley would follow with a single to score Rollins. Howard then singled to move up Utley. Marlon Byrd then hit a single of his own to score Chase Ultey. Domonic Brown followed with another single to load the bases. Carlos Ruiz then grounded into a double play, but scored Ryan Howard. 6-2 Phillies
That would be enough for the Phillies to take the win for the Phillies. After Antonio Bastardo gave up a sac fly to Jeff Baker in the eighth, Jonathan Papelbon came in the ninth to close to the door. Papelbon went 123 including a strike out of Giancarlo Stanton. 6-3 Phillies
The Other Phillies pitcher making the appearance was Mario Hollands, who pitch two scoreless innings.
Notable Offensive Statistics:
Jimmy Rollins: 2-3, R, 2 BB
Chase Utley: 2-4, 2 R, RBI, BB
Ryan Howard: 1-2, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB
Marlon Byrd: 2-4, 2 RBI
Domonic Brown: 2-4, RBI
Impact: It was very important for the Phillies to get back on track tonight. The Phillies swung very good bats against a very good pitcher in Jose Fernandez. Tonight also was the most runs ever given up by pitcher, Jose Fernandez. It also will be important to follow the status of A.J. Burnett who has continued to struggle with command of all his pitches, giving up six more walks. And now with a groin injury, it might be possible that Burnett could be sent to the DL with Pettibone coming up to pitch tomorrow and Cole Hamels almost ready to return.
Up Next: Tomorrow the Phillies will call up Jonathan Pettibone to spot start against the Marlins in game two of the series. Pettibone was shut down half way through last season due to shoulder issues. He will be opposed by Nathan Eovaldi. Eovaldi is 1-1 with 3.46 ERA in 13 innings pitched. Eovaldi might give the Phillies some problems with 14 strikeouts on the season. Jimmy Rollins is 5-14 (.357) and Carlos Ruiz is 4-11 (.364) against Eovaldi in their careers.
Andrew Shipotofsky is a writer for Philliedelphia. Follow him on