MIAMI – The Phillies were overpowered on Monday night.
Granted, the winning run for the Miami Marlins in a 6-5 walk-off victory was a single in the 10th inning by the unimposing Dee Gordon (see Instant Replay).
But it was before that.
It happened two batters into the bottom of the first and again in the third – twice – two home runs by Giancarlo Stanton and one by Justin Bour.
While the Phillies hit no home runs and had a walk by Cesar Hernandez that keyed their big third-inning, four-run rally, the Marlins posed in front of a mirror and flexed their muscles like baseball’s version of Arnold Schwarzenegger (or Saturday Night Live’s Hans and Franz).
You know … “We want to pump you up.”
“Everyone knows about them,” Hernandez said of Stanton and Bour. “They were in the Home Run Derby, and they were there because they hit so many shots.”
The Phillies, meanwhile, rank 28th out of 30 teams with 92 homers.
Nobody on the Phillies has more than 15 homers. The Marlins, who are just 23rd in the majors in long balls, have three players – Stanton, Bour and Marcell Ozuna – who each have more than 20.
Stanton has 28 homers, which leads the National League and is second in the majors behind New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, who has 30.
Ozuna and Stanton were All-Stars this year, and Bour went mano a mano against Judge in a dramatic Home Run Derby.
And as the Phillies (30-61) rebuild their roster, it would be nice if they can find more thump throughout their lineup. They had just six hits in 10 innings on Monday, and only three of those were for extra bases, two doubles by rookie Nick Williams and one by Freddy Galvis.
Of the Phillies’ top 10 prospects at the start of this season, eight of them were hitters, including Williams. So maybe those thumpers are on the way.
The Phillies could have used one in the eighth. With one out and the score tied 5-5, the Phillies had the bases loaded but failed to score. Both Brock Stassi (fastball) and pinch hitter Daniel Nava (curveball) were caught looking at strike three on pitches by reliever David Phelps.
“Another one-run loss,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin lamented. “We battled.”
The battle ended in the 10th. With one out, Derek Dietrich hit a long ball to the wall in right field. Late-game substitution Ty Kelly couldn’t grab it, crashing into the wall on his attempt as Dietrich legged out a triple. The Phillies walked two batters intentionally to get to a pinch hitter, backup catcher A.J. Ellis. After Ellis hit into a fielder’s choice, Gordon drove a pitch to right field for the winner.
Gordon, the sixth batter due up in the inning, was in the clubhouse watching video and didn’t think he would have an at-bat. But when Phillies reliever Mark Leiter, Jr. – who was demoted to the minors after taking the loss – gave up the triple, things changed quickly.
“It was chaotic for a second because those intentional walks happen quickly,” Gordon said. “I didn’t even have my batting gloves on when I ran to the on-deck circle.”
Gordon slapped the gloves on quickly and delivered a line-drive single to right for Miami’s fourth walk-off of the season and its first since June 19. Stanton, by the way, nearly hit a third homer. But his high drive to deep left-center was caught by leftfielder Cameron Perkins, who jumped just a bit higher than centerfielder Odubel Herrera to make the grab up against the wall. After the catch, Herrera fell on top of Perkins.
The Marlins nearly ended the game in the bottom of the ninth.
With the bases loaded and one out, Miami had its first chance for a walk-off win. But closer Hector Neris, inheriting Ricardo Pinto’s mess, struck out Christian Yelich. Ozuna then hit a line drive off Neris’ body. The ball bounced to first baseman Tommy Joseph for the inning-ending out.
The Phillies’ bullpen, which allowed one run in 3 2/3 innings, was better than starter Jerad Eickhoff, who was mostly ineffective.
Eickhoff took a no-decision in his second start after coming off the disabled list with a back injury. He allowed five runs in six innings. He struck out eight but walked four and gave up those three homers.
“The Bour [home run] was the most frustrating one,” Eickhoff said. “I should have managed that inning better.”