Booing is a practiced art in Philadelphia, and Wednesday night’s mistake-filled performance by the Phillies gave fans at Citizens Bank Park every right to give their team the business.
Which, of course, they did.
The Marlins scored a 6-1 victory over the Phillies, snapping a five-game losing streak. But the Marlins were aided by one miscue and blunder after another by the hapless Phillies.
Five of the Marlins’ six runs were unearned, and the one that wasn’t came as the direct result of a balk.
When you’re the slumping Marlins, though, beggars can’t be choosy.
“We needed a couple of breaks,” manager Mike Redmond said. “Whatever happened, I hope it happens again [Thursday].”
Desperate for wins, the Marlins will take them any way they can get them, and they got one on Wednesday because the Phillies couldn’t perform the simple task of catching a baseball.
Ryan Howard dropped a foul pop.
Cole Hamels dropped a flip while covering first.
Chase Utley dropped a force throw at second.
And in the biggest muff of them all, center fielder Odubel Herrera couldn’t hang on to Dee Gordon’s bases-loaded fly ball in the eighth. Three runs scored as a result, and the Marlins came out on top, thank you very much.
Due to the sloppiness of the Phillies, the only Marlin credited with an RBI all night was Martin Prado, who singled in the final run in Miami’s four-run eighth.
With another win on Thursday, the Marlins would take the series and return home from their ragged 10-game trip with at least some level of satisfaction. It has not been a delightful one.
There was a players-only meeting in New York and the revelation that Redmond’s job is in jeopardy because of the team’s poor start. But they showed signs of life on Wednesday.
First there was starting pitcher Jarred Cosart.
After giving up a solo homer in the second to Cody Asche, Cosart retired the next 14 batters before giving up a two-out triple in the sixth to Ben Revere.
But Cosart struck out Utley to end the inning and bring his own night to an end.
“Just happy we won,” Cosart said. “This win’s huge. Hopefully, we can build off of it. No one likes losing. We’re just trying to find ourselves as a team.”
It was a strange night of scoring for the Marlins.
They scored their first run in the second courtesy of Hamels’ missed catch while covering first for what would have been the third out of the inning.
They scored their second run on Luis Garcia’s balk with a man on third in the seventh. That gave the Marlins a 2-1 lead.
But it was in the eighth, when the outcome remained uncertain, that the Phillies came completely apart defensively. With two outs and two on, Jeff Baker grounded to third for the apparent third out.
But Utley couldn’t handle the throw for the force at second, loading the bases.
“Obviously, it’s the big leagues, most of the time they make those plays,” Baker said. “It was a big break for us.”
That brought up Dee Gordon, who hit a deep fly ball to center that Herrera chased near the warning track.
When he turned around and put his glove up, the ball bounced off and three runs scored.
Redmond thought Gordon should have been credited with a triple. But the official scorer’s ruling was an error — the third of the game for Philadelphia.
“We haven’t gotten a ton of breaks,” Redmond said of the Marlins’ season so far. “We needed something to go our way. We took advantage of some breaks.”