On a night where Aaron Nola looked to run out of gas in the sixth, the offense was flat and a rookie made a rocky big-league debut out of the pen, one of the Phillies (0-1) new acquisitions shined bright.
The Phils took the loss 5-2 to the Miami Marlins (1-0) at Citizens Bank Park and continued their struggles against the Fish. The offense mustered just five hits; two of them were delivered by SS Didi Gregorius, who homered in his Phillies debut. He also scored the other Phillies run on a Marlines error.
Nola did not cruise, but he pitched well enough for the first five innings. Tied 1-1 in the sixth, he hung an 0-2 curveball to 1B Jesus Aguilar that still has not landed yet to give the Marlins a 3-1 lead. After Corey Dickerson followed that up with a double, manager Joe Girardi went to RHP Ramon Rosso to make his major-league debut in a very high leverage situation.
It did not go well.
Rosso could not find the strike zone, although his power arm made it clear what the Phillies see in his potential. He threw a wild pitch that scored a run, walked a batter and gave up an RBI double. Girardi had enough and made the move to another arm making his Phillies debut, RHP Reggie McClain, who got the team out of any further trouble.
The Phillies are now 9-11 in their last 20 games against the Marlins, who lost 105 games in 2019.
Their next opportunity comes Saturday afternoon as RHP Zack Wheeler will make his Phillies debut. He will be opposed by LHP Caleb Smith for the Marlins. Wheeler looked dominant at times during Spring Training, if not inconsistent. He also welcomed his son, Wesley, Monday evening.
Wheeler has dominated the Marlins over the last two seasons, posting a 1.59 ERA across seven starts.
First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 pm and will be aired on NBCSP (tv) and WIP (radio). The forecast should not feature any rain, but it will be flirting with 90 degrees with plenty of humidity.