Alec Asher's struggles have coincided with those of the young Phillies, but a solution could come against one of the only teams Philadelphia has bested this season.
The rookie goes for his first big league win Thursday night when the last-place Phillies try for a series victory against the Miami Marlins.
Despite Wednesday's 4-3, 11-inning loss, Philadelphia (57-95) has won eight of 10 against Miami (65-87) since dropping four of the first five meetings this season. Four of the club's 10 wins since Aug. 21 have come against the Marlins, who are one of six teams against whom Philadelphia has a winning record.
The Phillies' true colors shone through Wednesday, though, as three errors - including one in a sloppy 10th - kept them from their fifth straight win over Miami. Philadelphia ranks toward the top of the majors with 34 errors since Aug. 15 and has 108 on the season.
"I'm thinking about spring training next year and the theme for spring training camp is going to be defense and baserunning," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "You don't want to lose games due to bad defense."
Philadelphia's issues stretch to filling out its starting rotation for 2016, an area where Asher has failed to make an impression.
Asher (0-4, 9.78 ERA) has lost each of his first four big league starts since his Aug. 30 promotion from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The right-hander has allowed at least four runs in each outing and hasn't completed six innings.
"Failure is part of the game," Asher told MLB's official website. "It's frustrating. No one likes losing. I hate it."
The Phillies hope a 6-4 finish can help them avoid their first 100-loss season since they dropped 107 games in 1961.
Meanwhile, Wednesday's win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Marlins, who had won 12 of 16 games prior to the skid.
Justin Bour hit his 19th home run and third in seven games, while Dee Gordon had three hits, including a walkoff double. Gordon is hitting .381 since Sept. 6 and recorded his first walkoff hit and RBI since June 17, 2012, when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"That was his first walkoff in a few years, but it couldn't have come at a better time," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said.
Jarred Cosart will take the mound in his fourth start for Miami since returning earlier this month from a bout with vertigo which forced him to miss most of the season.
Cosart (2-4, 4.43) has looked good since his return, though, with a 1-0 record and 1.72 ERA in three September outings that have each been longer than the previous. After lasting 4 2-3 innings in his first, he tossed five in the second and six in the third.
The right-hander split his first two career outings against the Phillies in late April and early May, going 1-1 with a 3.27 ERA. Philadelphia left fielder Cody Asche, who hit two homers Tuesday, had a solo shot against Cosart in Miami's 6-1 win April 22.
Cosart could have shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria behind him for the series finale. Jennings said his middle infielder made more progress Wednesday from a hamstring injury that has kept him out since Sept. 2.