The Marlins are such an eyesore these days that it is probably a good thing for them that most South Florida sports fans have tuned them out while turning their attention to football.
These are not glowing times for the Marlins, who now own the worst record in the National League and are playing for nothing more than a better position in next summer’s amateur draft. These are awful times, a basement-dwelling team playing bad baseball to close out a painfully bad season, one that is drawing closer to 100 losses.
On Friday, as they crossed another day off the calendar as the season’s end continues to draw closer, the Marlins were battered 14-2 by the Phillies, who have spiraled out of contention on the National League East race.
“We really couldn’t stop them in any way, shape or form,” said manager Don Mattingly.
It mattered little Friday who was on the mound for the Marlins. The Phillies took a sledgehammer to them. Wei-Yin Chen gave up two home runs. Tayron Guerrero gave up one. So did Javy Guerra. Heck, even backup catcher Bryan Holaday, who was brought in to mop up in the eighth, wasn’t safe. He gave up Mitch Walding’s first major league homer.
Aaron Altherr, who brought a .171 average into Friday’s game, went 3 for 4 with a pair of home runs and five RBI.
For Chen, it was another sub-par outing on the road. After opening the road trip with a loss in Pittsburgh, the suffered yet another out-of-town defeat, bringing his road record to 1-8 (he has gone 5-3 in Miami). He also remained winless in Pennsylvania, where his record now stands at 0-5.
On Friday, he was battered around for eight hits -- including two home runs -- in a matter of four innings before manager Don Mattingly decided he had seen enough and had him lifted for a pinch-hitter. Chen only managed to make it through four innings in his Pittsburgh start, as well.
“Tonight, my command and everything was bad,” Chen said. “I just pitched bad.”
But matters didn’t improve any for the Marlins after Chen left them in a 5-0 hole.
Guerrero, who has faded in the second half, was rocked by an Altherr 3-run homer in the fifth. Guerra wasn’t immune from the long ball, either, giving up a two-run blast to Rhys Hoskins in the sixth.
Backup catcher Bryan Holaday was sent out to pitch in the eighth. Holaday had not given a run in either of his previous two relief appearances in the majors, including one earlier this season with the Marlins. But the Phillies got to him for three runs.
Since the All-Star break, only the lowly Baltimore Orioles have put together a lousier record than the Marlins, who have gone 16-33 since that point.
The Marlins would have to win six of the 14 games likely remaining on their schedule to avoid 100 losses. The way they’re playing now, the odds would seem against them.
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