MLB Wild Card: David Robertson blows save, Rhys Hoskins commits key error in Phillies loss

·4 min read

Hoskins commits key error, Robertson blows save, Phillies can't complete sweep originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

On the night Seranthony Dominguez began a rehab assignment 70 miles away from Citizens Bank Park, David Robertson blew a save in the ninth inning as the Phillies lost to the Marlins, 6-5.

The Phils held a one-run lead with three outs to go before Garrett Cooper led off the ninth with a double and scored on a routine ground ball that went under Rhys Hoskins' glove for a two-base error. A walk and a single later, the Marlins had the lead.

"Just a little over-aggressive on his part," manager Rob Thomson said of the Hoskins play. "Should've gotten the out but we move forward from there."

The Phillies were unable to complete the sweep and fell to 75-62. They're in the sixth and final National League playoff spot, a half-game behind the Padres and 2½ ahead of the Brewers, who swept a doubleheader over the Giants.

Robertson has been a crucial pickup for the Phillies but he's struggled in his last three appearances, allowing four runs and putting 11 men on base in 3⅔ innings.

"He's maybe a little bit tired," Thomson said. "I don't think we're putting him in the danger zone but I think he's a little bit tired. But the outing tonight, the Cooper ball was well-hit, then the error, then a walk where it looked like he swung -- and you've got to be able to overcome that stuff -- then a bleeder and he punched out the side. It was a tough one."

Dominguez, out nearly three weeks with right triceps tendinitis, pitched around two walks for a scoreless inning Thursday night for Lehigh Valley. The reports Thomson received were that Dominguez’ fastball was from 98 mph to 100, which could expedite his return. The Phillies need his presence in their bullpen as soon as possible, and Dominguez' next appearance could come in Philadelphia depending on how his arm responds. Thomson said he'd speak with the high-leverage right-hander on Friday.

This was shaping up to be the Phils' fourth straight win against Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara, who leads the majors in innings pitched and entered with a 2.36 ERA. They scored five runs (three earned) off of him in six innings, taking advantage of multiple defensive mistakes by centerfielder JJ Bleday in the fifth inning. Bleday dropped a can of corn off the bat of Kyle Schwarber with two outs and nobody on in the frame, extending the inning for a Hoskins single and a two-run triple by Alec Bohm. Bleday had little chance to catch Bohm's ball but left his feet and turned a game-tying single into a go-ahead extra-base hit. That was the game's decisive play until the ninth.

"I don't make lists but if you're making a list of the best pitchers in the game, you're talking about him," Bohm said. "And to get to him, to get a lead, you want to close it out."

The Phillies will face Alcantara for the sixth and final time next week in Miami. The more they've seen him, the more they've hit him. They've scored 11 runs on 19 hits in their last 15⅔ innings against Alcantara.

"I guess if you see a guy a lot ... I don't think comfortable is the right word but you just kind of know what you're going to get," Bohm said. "It's just a matter of hitting his mistakes or not."

Kyle Gibson started for the Phils and did not pitch well, allowing four runs on nine hits over five innings to a Marlins team that had averaged just 1.6 over its last 10 games. He was taken deep by left-handed hitters Lewin Diaz and Joey Wendle. Gibson has struggled three of his last four times out, allowing 15 runs in 18 innings. He felt his cutter command was the problem Thursday.

The Phils are 10-6 against the Marlins this season. They were able to win the series without much from Bryce Harper and Schwarber. The lefty sluggers are a combined 7-for-45 in September with no homers, no RBI, four walks and 18 strikeouts.

"Everybody goes through these types of at-bats," Thomson said of Harper. "He hasn't really had all that many at-bats. They're kind of piling up on him so there might be some fatigue there. But he'll snap out of it."

Perhaps they can get right this weekend against the Nationals' major-league worst pitching staff. The Phillies will face Patrick Corbin on Friday, Erick Fedde on Saturday and soft-tosser Aníbal Sanchez on Sunday. They've tattooed Corbin and Fedde over the last two seasons.

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