The Philadelphia Phillies left Miami on Sunday night feeling good about themselves. Despite owning the worst record in baseball the club took three of four contests from a Marlins club competing for a playoff spot.
Sunday's 3-1 win in 12 innings at Marlins Park sealed the series win with a Nick Williams two-out, two-run single delivering the final blow.
In the grand scheme it's a small victory, but in an otherwise forgettable season it's important to find building blocks for the 2018 season.
“We’ve had injuries like everybody else,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. “We’ve had guys coming and going — I think 16 guys who have made their (major-league) debut.
“I feel like this team has a lot of potential.”
Williams had an opportunity to drive in the winning run in the 10th, but instead grounded out to the pitcher.
“I wanted to just stay with the same approach,” Williams said. “I was thinking ‘Hit the ball right at the pitcher.’ The at-bat before, I literally did that. I just tried to stay within myself, not get too big, and square a ball up. With two outs, just trying to grind it out.”
Starter Jake Thompson was lifted after six innings, allowing just one run on three hits while notching seven strikeouts. He did an excellent job of mixing his off-speed pitches and kept Marlins' hitters off balance throughout much of the contest.
“That’s the best I’ve seen him pitch,” Mackanin said. “He had a great mound presence and was in total command. He had command of all his pitches. He really impressed.”
The Phillies bullpen combined to toss six scoreless innings to secure the victory.
Attention now shifts to New York as the Phillies open a three-game set with the Mets beginning Monday afternoon. Mark Leiter Jr. is scheduled to start the opener. He'll be opposed by righy Rafael Montero.
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BY PATRICK GORDON
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