Giancarlo Stanton was 1,000 miles from Citizens Bank Park, far away from the Marlins.
But wherever one looked Friday, it was hard not to miss him.
The Marlins hung his orange jersey in their dugout. The white lineup card posted inside the team’s clubhouse was missing his name. Ed Lucas started in his place in right field.
Life after Stanton, who fell in a pool of blood after a pitch hit him in the face in Milwaukee on Thursday, won’t be the same for the Marlins, who lost to the Phillies on Friday in 10 innings, 3-1.
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“It’s really hard to come to the locker room and him not being here,” said Marlins reliever A.J. Ramos, who shares an apartment with Stanton. “It’s kind of sad.”
While the Marlins were encouraged with reports that Stanton escaped serious injury, sustaining multiple facial fractures and broken teeth, the unspoken feeling of gloom was hard not to notice.
The immediate prospects for the Marlins are beyond bleak, as they fell into a third-place tie with the Mets in the National League East. They have all but been cut out of the wild-card playoff conversation, and now they’re missing not only their best player, but also one of the premier players in the majors.
Stanton led the majors with 37 home runs.
Lucas, his replacement on Friday, has hit just one — a difference of 36.
“We can’t replace ‘G,’ no doubt,” manager Mike Redmond said.
When asked who would replace Stanton in right field, Redmond rattled off a handful of names, including Lucas and Garrett Jones. Kike Hernandez could see some time in center.
“Nobody’s going to replace him, and nobody wants to see me out there in right field,” Lucas said. “Seriously, I don’t even think my mom would put me on the lineup card instead of Stanton.”
Lucas had two hits, including a double, in three at-bats.
But Lucas doesn’t bring Stanton’s stature or presence. No one else on the Marlins does, either.
“Our heads are kind of elsewhere,” acknowledged reliever Dan Jennings, who gave up the game-winning homer in the 10th to Cody Asche. “We’ve got to push that all aside, and I think everybody did a good job of that. But, at the same time, everybody knows, when you look up at the scoreboard, and the three-hole hitter is kind of missing, it’s not a good feeling. It’s just weird.”
Said Lucas: “For 150 games, or however many we’ve played, he’s been out there in that three hole and in right field. To not have him here is a little eerie.”
Henderson Alvarez returned to the mound for the first time since Sept.1 when an oblique injury caused him to miss a start. Alvarez held the Phillies to a run over seven innings.
Offensively, the Marlins totaled nine hits off Cole Hamels in seven innings but only had one run to show for them. After Hamels gave up a two-out RBI single to Adeiny Hechavarria in the sixth, Phillies pitchers retired the final 13 in a row to close out the win.
The Marlins are hoping to put the past 24 hours behind them when they return to the ballpark Saturday to face the Phillies.
“I think it would have helped if we won that ballgame,” Redmond said. “But he changes our lineup so much. We’re going to have to work a lot harder to score runs. I think you saw that tonight.”
▪ Marlins pitcher Anthony DeSclafani received a three-game suspension from Major League Baseball for hitting Milwaukee’s Carlos Gomez with a pitch in the sixth inning Thursday.
DeSclafani is appealing. Mike Fiers, who threw the pitch that struck Stanton, was fined an undisclosed amount for his actions, which contributed to the benches clearing.