X

Florida Marlins Put Phillies On Ice With Sweep

Scott EisenlohrAnalyst IAugust 10, 2009

PHOENIX - JULY 10:  Hanley Ramirez #2 of the Florida Marlins bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the major league baseball game at Chase Field on July 10, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Marlins 8-0.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Forget about if Jamie Moyer will stay in the opening rotation; this Phillies team has bigger problems than that.

It is not panic time, but when the Phils (61-48) had the chance to put the National League Eastern Division out of reach, the Florida Marlins came into town and swept the Phillies, cutting a seven-game lead into a manageable four games.

Us Phillies fans are not used to a comfortable lead and it still may happen, but the Marlins were downright dominant in the series, led by Hanley Ramirez, shown above, who hit a hardy .437 in the three-game series.

Chris Coghlan and Ramirez each had four hits for the Marlins in a 12-3 win over the Phillies on Sunday. Coghlan set a team record with his eighth-straight multi-hit game, and Florida had a season-high 19 hits.

Meanwhile, the Phillies are in a real offensive slump and have lost eight out of their last 11 games. They have scored 32 runs in that period (2.91 runs per game), while allowing 51 runs (4.63).

Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez combined for 1-for-10 Sunday. In the last nine games, the same group has gone 20-for-99 with no home runs and four RBI.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel held a 20-minute meeting following the game. Center fielder Shane Victorino was tossed out of the game while on defense for "showing up" the home plate umpire on Sunday.

Maybe those two events will fire up the team as they head to Chicago for a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs, who are currently 58-51 and two games behind St. Louis in the National League Central Division.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

The Phillies are a team of "no comment" when addressing their current "six man" rotation, that is when Pedro Martinez is activated.

I have a feeling once the Martinez/Jamie Moyer situation works itself out, the team will respond and score more runs than they give up.

But the starting rotation seems to be a black cloud over this team.

J.A. Happ responded to his personal challenge with a nine-inning complete game shutout of the Rockies, and to be fair, most of the hits Moyer gave up were bloop singles on Sunday.

The Phillies can get some breathing room and quiet controversy with a nice win streak.

The Marlins, four games behind, and the Braves four-and-a-half games behind, will gladly take up the slack if the Phillies fall on the road.

Let's get it going.

slash iconYour sports. Delivered.

Enjoy our content? Join our newsletter to get the latest in sports news delivered straight to your inbox!