After getting blown out by the Diamondbacks Sunday afternoon, the Phillies got back on track Monday night with a walk-off win over the Marlins. It was a pitchers’ duel all night, as Cy Young hopefuls Aaron Nola and Sandy Alcantara both went deep into the game and allowed only two runs each. The ninth inning heroics were provided by Rhys Hoskins, who laced a two-out single into left-center field to score Matt Vierling and send the fans home happy.
Nola has been dominant all year, and he kept rolling in this one. The 29-year-old twirled 7.0 innings of two run ball, surrendering six hits and walking none, while punching out six Marlins. Unfortunately, He departed with the Phils down 2-1, so his excellent work left him with only a no decision. On the other side, Sandy Alcantara went 7.2 strong innings and held the Phillies to only two runs. He allowed six hits and three walks, while striking out five. Alcantara looked poised to earn a win, but Marlins’ lefty Steven Okert allowed one of his inherited runners to score in the eighth, tying the game at two.
The Phillies’ hitters got on base plenty, but stranded a lot of runners. Overall, they collected ten hits and three walks, including doubles from Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber and Hoskins. The bullpen was lights out, as Connor Brogdon and Seranthony Domínguez each tossed a clean inning with one strikeout. Domínguez earned the win with a perfect top of the ninth, allowing the Phils to walk it off in the bottom half of the frame.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth, newly-minted utility infielder Matt Vierling dunked a perfectly placed popup into shallow left field for a single. As Hall of Famer Wee Willie Keeler put it, “Hit ‘em where they ain’t.” Two batters later, the red-hot Rhys Hoskins stepped to the plate with two outs and Vierling on first. Vierling took off on a 1-1 offering, and beat the throw to get himself into scoring position. Marlins’ closer Anthony Bass tried to sneak a slider past Hoskins on the next pitch, but the Phillies’ first baseman deposited it into the left-center field gap for a walk-off single.
With this win, the Phillies are now back above .500 with a 31-30 record, and are 9-1 under Interim Manager Rob Thomson. The Phils still have a big hole to climb out of in the NL East, as they’re still 8.5 games behind the Mets. However, they’ve been making progress in the Wild Card race, as they’re now only 3.5 games behind the Braves and Giants for the final playoff spot.