Thanks to a 6-run inning and collapse by the Phillies’ bullpen, the Marlins are on the verge of sweeping their opponents on Sunday. After sweeping the Mets, the Phillies are in danger of giving three games back in Miami. It’s been that kind of season for the Phillies. Just when you think they’re going to go on a run, they run into a pothole and questions are being raised again. For the fourth game in five days, Harper didn’t record an RBI.
He also has just two home runs in his previous 14 games. You don’t want to put all of the blame on one guy ever, especially in baseball, but it’s hard not to look at Harper as the main reason why this team is being held back from the Braves. If he was making an average paycheck, then that’d be fair not to be so harsh on him. Making over $300 million is far from average, though. There will be time for him to sort things out during the All-Star break. If there’s any player who needs a break more than anyone, it’s Bryce Harper.
The Phillies have watched as they’ve slipped 5+ games behind the Braves in the NL East. While we criticize Harper, their bullpen takes a lot of blame for blowing a lead in the 7th inning yesterday. Adam Morgan and Juan Nicasio both allowed 3 runs each, as the Marlins scored 8 unanswered runs to erase a 6-1 hole.
There have been some painful losses for Philadelphia this season, but that one stings in particular. The Marlins were swept by the Phillies in Philadelphia last week, so the Marlins can make it six straight wins and back-to-back sweeps against them on Sunday. They haven’t had much to celebrate this season, but that would feel awfully nice. Jake Arrieta will attempt to block that from happening. Trevor Richards is expected to get the nod for the Marlins. Head below for our free Phillies vs. Marlins pick.
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The Phillies will send out Jake Arrieta to try and get the job done on Sunday. It isn’t like they didn’t get pitching from their starter yesterday, though. Zach Eflin put the Phillies in a solid position to win the game, but he got no help from the bullpen to get him a win. Nicasio and Morgan recorded just 1 out each and allowed 3 runs. Arrieta has been serviceable in 2019, posting an ERA of 4.33 in 97.2 innings.
The Phillies would love if he got back to 2014 and 2016form, but that’s wishful thinking at this point. Arrieta won the NL Cy Young in 2015, with an ERA of 1.77 as a member of the Cubs. He followed up with another productive season, but has tailed off ever since winning the Cy Young. In his first season with the Phillies last year, Arrieta was good for a 3.96 ERA, which is worse than any campaign he had with the Cubs.
Trevor Richards started hot for the Marlins, but is going through a tough stretch in two of his last three outings. He allowed 18 hits and 11 earned runs in 10 innings against the Pirates and Nationals. Richards goes into Sunday with an ERA of 6.89 and 1.72 WHIP in his last three appearances on the mound.
He suffered a 12-9 loss in his last outing against the Phillies, allowing 6 hits and 5 earned runs in 4 innings of play. Richards also yielded 2 walks and 2 long balls to the Phillies in the loss. He’s posted a 3.16 ERA on the road as opposed to a 4.37 ERA at Marlins Park in Miami. In danger of getting embarrassed further, the Phillies likely wake up and prevent losing their sixth in a row against the Marlins on Sunday.