Vincent Velasquez scratched late, as the Phillies lost 6-0 to Marlins
Vincent Velasquez arrived at Citizens Bank Park yesterday afternoon anticipating to start for the Phillies that night. It would have been Vinny Velo’s sixth consecutive start since he replaced left-hander Matt Moore in the rotation last month. During warmups, roughly 20 minutes before the first pitch, Velasquez felt numbness in his right index finger. He would be a last minute scratch from the game and the Phillies would send David Hale to the mound as their starting pitcher. The Marlins beat the Phillies 6-0.
Velasquez has a 2.84 ERA in five starts for the Phillies this season. The Phillies are already faced with depth issues at essentially every position on the field. In speaking with the media after the game Velasquez felt confident he would be ready to make his next scheduled start on Tuesday in Miami. However, if he’s not ready to go, the Phillies could turn to Spencer Howard, who continues to pitch well in Lehigh Valley.
Howard would be a better option than Matt Moore who had an ERA north of nine as a starter for the Phillies at the beginning of the season. The other offseason failure is the number fifth starter Chase Anderson. Anderson is 2-4 with a 6.96 ERA, but Joe Girardi said that he will make his scheduled start on Saturday against the Red Sox.
Vincent Velasquez Didn’t Matter
Marlins pitcher Sandy Alcantara struck out nine Phillies batters in six scoreless innings. The Phillies struck out a total of 15 times and not one player on the team made it to third base during the game.
The Phillies extended their National League lead in strikeouts to 449. The Phillies have struck out in double digits in 27 of their 44 games. The previous game, the Phillies were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Last night, they were 0 for 4 with RISP and did not manage a third hit in the ballgame until there were two outs in the eighth inning.
The Phillies were shorthanded yet again. JT Realmuto missed his fourth straight game with a bone bruise at the base of his left hand. Leaving him off the injured list because he’s healing, the Phillies have been forced to play with a short bench all week. So short, that they used Zack Wheeler as a pinch hitter in the third inning last night. Jean Segura didn’t start the game because he was sick, but ended up playing in the seventh inning as a part of a double switch.
Since the start of the 2019 season, the Marlins are 19-13 (.593) vs. the Phillies and 89-144 (.382) vs. everyone else. This season, the Phillies have now fallen back to .500 at 22-22 and have lost four out of their last five games, two of which, they were shutout and another one they scored just one run.
At 22-22, the Phillies are still in second place in the NL East, one and a half games behind the New York Mets in first. The Phillies, much like every team in the NL East, have been plagued by injuries. Andrew McCutchen, who started off the season in a huge slump, seems to be back to his old ways. Centerfield, which was a disaster to start the season, has been stabilized by Odubel Herrera. Nick Maton, has been terrific over the past few months. The front of the Phillies rotation with Nola, Wheeler, and Eflin has been fantastic and the bullpen hasn’t been terrible.
The Phillies are in the thick of it heading into the summer months. It’s been frustrating, but they have plenty of time to get hot and turn things around. Hopefully.
Up Next: Aaron Nola will be on the mound tonight to open up a weekend series against the Boston Red Sox at Citizens Bank Park.
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY