The Marlins wouldn’t mind seeing Jeremy Hellickson wearing one of their uniforms soon.
It would at least keep him from shutting down their offense.
Hellickson, whom the Marlins have been reportedly trying to acquire via trade to bolster their depleted starting rotation, sent them to another defeat Monday by tossing seven shutout innings in a 4-0 Phillies victory.
The Marlins (53-46) have now gone 19 consecutive innings without scoring a run and have only managed to score one run (a solo home run by Chris Johnson last Wednesday) in the past 19 innings when facing Hellickson.
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The loss was the Marlins’ third in four games and dropped them to five games behind the Nationals in the National League East and into a tie with the idle Mets, but percentage points behind them for the final wild-card berth.
“A little disappointing tonight because we just saw [Hellickson] a few days ago,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “The other day I looked up and he had 66 pitches after five innings. Tonight, I think he had 63 after five. So it tells me we didn’t really make an adjustment to him at all.”
The Marlins mustered only one hit against Hellickson and two overall just five days after Hellickson limited them to a solo home run by Chris Johnson during a 4-1 loss in Philadelphia.
Hellickson is 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA in four starts against the Marlins this season, all won by the Phillies (46-55).
Hellickson did not allow a hit until J.T. Realmuto singled to open the fourth inning.
“He’s doing a good job of mixing speeds and location,” Realmuto said. “We were trying to go up there and be aggressive and hunt for his mistakes, but he did a really good job of not making any. He kept the ball on the edges and moving all game.”
The loss squandered a solid start by Jarred Cosart, who pitched in the majors for the first time since April 22. Cosart was recalled from the minors Sunday to start in place of Wei-Yin Chen, who was placed on the disabled list with an elbow sprain.
Cosart, who entered with a 7.98 ERA in three prior starts in April, pitched five shutout innings, allowed only three hits, walked one and struck out three on 92 pitches.
Cosart had allowed three or more runs in all three of his starts to open the season, including six in his last start before he was sent down. He later spent a month on the minor-league DL with a strained oblique.
“I was just trying to get healthy after this oblique [injury],” Cosart said. “But getting my delivery back simple. It’s pretty similar to where it was in 2014. I think that was when I came over here and in the second half, that was the most success I’ve had in my career. That was a long time ago and people forget about that. I forgot about that too.”
In 10 starts at Triple-A New Orleans, Cosart went 3-4 with a 4.09 ERA.
“A lot of [what happened in April] was on me,” Cosart said. “I made a lot of changes when things were going good, I tried to make them better. Sometimes the brain’s the biggest thing in this game. You let your brain get in the way, it can cause some uphill battles and that was kind of the siutation I was in. I needed to go down and get the maechanics and clear the mindset.”
The Phillies finally broke the scoreless stalemate in the eighth inning when Tommy Joseph doubled to left center off Fernando Rodney to score Maikel Franco.
The Marlins made one of their two errors in the ninth that contributed to the Phillies adding three more runs off A.J. Ramos
Rodney, the last pitcher the Marlins acquired via trade, was nearly untouchable when he was the San Diego Padres closer with a 0.31 ERA in 28 2/3 innings.
As a late-inning reliever for the Marlins, Rodney hasn’t been nearly as spectacular, compiling a 4.50 ERA in 12 innings.
Kyle Barraclough and David Phelps each bounced back from recent poor outings as each struck out the side to keep the Phillies off the scoreboard in the sixth and seventh inning following Cosart’s exit.
The Marlins’ bullpen totaled a season-high 10 strikeouts in four combined innings. Barraclough’s 71 strikeouts leads all NL relievers.
“I thought we threw the ball well tonight, even Fernando,” Mattingly said. “But A.J. I think any time you put the closer in when it’s not a closing situation you never know what you’re going to get. If we were on the opposite end of the score there, I’m real confident he’d throw up a zero in that spot.”
Ichiro Suzuki grounded out in a pinch hit appearance and remained four hits away from the 3,000 milestone.