David Phelps rebounds for Marlins with stellar 8-inning outing
MIAMI -- Miami Marlins right-hander David Phelps will rest easy because of Thursday night's performance.
Five days after surrendering a career-high nine runs on 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings at Coors Field, Phelps tossed his best outing of the season in a 6-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Marlins Park.
Phelps pitched a career-high eight scoreless innings, allowing four hits with six strikeouts, one walk and a hit batter. He threw 111 pitches (75 strikes).
"I like to think that I learned what not to do last time out," Phelps said. "I didn't make a whole lot of quality pitches the last time against these guys, and that really was what I was focusing on tonight, just keeping the ball down, in the zone and executing my pitches. It paid off."
Ten of the first 11 batters went down in order with DJ LeMahieu's one-out single the only blemish. Troy Tulowitzki also singled with one out in the fourth. Nick Hundley reached on a walk in the fifth. Corey Dickerson's two-out double to left-center marked the only extra-base hit off of Phelps.
A runner didn't reach third base until the eighth when Charlie Blackmon, who got hit by a pitch, went from first to third on LeMahieu's single that found a hole at second with Donovan Solano moving to cover a steal. Phelps regrouped to get the final out, inducing a Tulowitzki flyout to center.
Over his past four starts dating back to May 20 against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Phelps had posted an 8.71 ERA. His ERA ballooned from 2.68 ERA to 4.68 ERA. After Thursday, it lowered to 4.11.
"That's an outstanding outing by him," manager Dan Jennings said. "To set the tone the way he did. Five days ago he certainly wasn't pleased with his outing against this same team that was leading the National League in hitting. For him to come back five days later, eight innings...
"For me, the most impressive thing for him was strike one. If he didn't get strike one, he got right back in the count on the next pitch. Just tremendous. It put him in a position to be able to execute pitches. He worked both sides. Just a hellavu effort by the kid to set that tone."
Phelps also got some help from his defense.
Christian Yelich executed a leaping catch before the left-field wall to rob Nolan Arenado of extra bases to lead off the second inning. Adeiny Hechavarria made a barehanded diving throw to get Hundley out at first on a ball that deflected off of Phelps in the third.
"Guys made plays," Phelps said. "The biggest play all night was no outs in the second and Yeli makes that play. We just scored three runs, and if I give up a leadoff double there it can be a completely different game. Yeli makes that play and keeps the momentum on our side."