Aaron Nola disintegrated again in the middle innings and the Phillies snapped another rally in an 8-4 loss to the Marlins.
With one out and the Phillies down 1-0 topping the sixth, Nola allowed five of six batters in one of the Marlins’ best offensive innings of the season. Miami had had three or fewer runs in nine of 11 games before hitting three in that inning alone off of NOLA.
With three starts, Nola is 0-2 with a 7.04 ERA.
“I’ve had two bad tournaments, the first game and this one,” he said. “Otherwise, I’ve felt pretty good other rides. No walk today. Just push the positives away, keep pushing, focus on the next outing and my drive, and try to keep my tone up.”
Jesus Lozardo held Velez scoreless through five innings after Monday’s 15-run offense. The Phils had trouble with a left-handed homer until Kyle Schwarber greeted him with a bench homer in the bottom of the sixth. They scored two more in the half on Bryson Stott’s single, but Stott was sacked after deflecting too far for a first base bag, the NBA’s eighth worst touchdown this season. . That’s about as many times as the Braves, Marlins, Rays, Cubs, Giants, Angels, and Nationals combined.
The Marlins went for extra insurance with a run in the seventh off Connor Brogdon and another three in the eighth inning against Andrew Pilati, but it would have been a different game if the inning had stretched after a stott.
Stott, who batted . 422 after another two-hit night, took the lead.
“It’s just not a good play myself,” he said. “I think we had all the momentum there when I got selected to start. Who knows what would have happened next, if they would have scored four more runs or not. Just to give ourselves a chance at that would have been a nice place.”
The Phils had 11 hits but it was another bad night with runners in the scoring position. They went 1 for 10 and stranded nine. They had several key scoring opportunities, including the seventh inning when JT Realmuto started a double play at the end of the inning as the potential run.
“We were so close to winning that match,” said Nick Castellanos.
Luis Arais, the 2022 World Racquetball Championship champion, was traded from Minnesota to Miami this offseason for starting pitcher Pablo Lopez, and he’s made the cycle. The best singles around batting doubles in the first, triples in the sixth, homers in the seventh and singles in the eighth. 537 on the season and is the first Marlins player to bat in this cycle.
Coach Rob Thompson changed the lineup, moving Stott from up front to eighth against Lozardo due to the difficulty Lozardo had against lefties. Thompson said Stott will be back on top on Wednesday against right-hander Daniel Cabrera. 293 left handers in his big league career, Stott averaged over 50 batting average against right handers.
Castellanos had another productive night at the plate with two solid hit singles and a walk against Lozardo. He continues to look much better than he did a year ago, working out, watching the pitches and not chasing out of the zone as much. Phillies 4-7 but that’s an encouraging sign.
“Earlier in my career when I was going more at the top of the lineup I wasn’t thinking about walking or chasing or things like that, I was swinging more aggressively,” he said. “But I’m in a place where the game has to come more to me. It’s just an adjustment I have to make but I’ll find out.”
The Phillies and Marlins conclude their three-game series on Wednesday at 4:05 p.m. Zack Wheeler makes his third start. After the series ends, the Phillies do not face another NL East team until the series in Atlanta from May 25–29.
The Phillies need a rookie to get deep in one game these days. Through 11 games, they’ve only gotten six home runs once: Nola last week at Yankee Stadium.
“It’s taxing on the labor market, for sure,” Thompson said. “We have to understand that. We’ve worked well with these guys. We have to get some time at some point to settle the ‘pen a little bit, and we will.'”
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