The Phillies will make their first trip of the season to Miami to take on the Marlins in a three-game set. Here’s a look at what they’ll be up against.
The last time they met
It wasn’t easy, but when the Marlins visited Philadelphia in April, the Phillies managed to win all three games. First, they defeated pitching phenom Jose Fernandez (back when he still had two functional tendons) and then they prevailed in extra innings thanks to a selfish home run by Jimmy Rollins. On Sunday, they finished off the sweep thanks to home runs by Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. (Bizarrely, that was Utley’s last homer of the season.)
What’s new with the Marlins?
Aside from that series against the Phillies, the Marlins have had a fairly successful season, and currently sit in third place at 23-22. Surprisingly, the team’s success has been mostly due to their offense. They rank sixth in the majors in runs scored after ranking dead last in that category in 2013.
What’s been the cause for the improvement? The addition of Jarrod Saltalamacchia has provided a boost, while Giancarlo Stanton has remained healthy. It also helps that they aren’t relying on has-beens like Placido Polanco and Greg Dobbs to fill key spots in the lineup.
The Marlins have been especially strong at home going 17-5 in the “House that Jeffrey Loria built with the taxpayers’ money.”
Marlins player who isn’t completely horrible
It shouldn’t shock anyone to see Giancarlo Stanton leading the Marlins in most offensive categories. His 43 RBIs are the most in baseball, and his 2.7 WAR is second only to Troy Tulowitzki. It will be awesome when Ruben Amaro finally figures out a way to trade for this guy.
Marlins player who is horrible
Nathan Eovaldi got off to a good start this season, but since the beginning of May, his ERA has gone up by more than a run. In his last start, he surrendered six runs in 4.1 innings against the Giants. The Phillies will try to continue his downward trend when they face him on Wednesday.
Philadelphia Phillies (19-22) at Miami Marlins (23-22)
Game time: 7:10 PM
The Phillies will attempt to extend their winning streak to three games. A.J. Burnett will get the ball coming off two of his weaker starts of the season. In the past, the former Marlin has pitched well against his original team. He has a 1.96 ERA in three career starts against them.
Marlins starter Anthony DeSclafani will be making his second career start . His first one was a success as he limited the Dodgers to two runs in six innings and picked up the victory.
Tweet of Importance
Phillies raised $904,732 for ALS research Monday at 30th annual Phestival. They begin stretch of 54 games in 55 days tonight.
— Matt Gelb (@magelb) May 20, 2014
Sounds like the Phillies spent their off day well. And that’s good because they won’t have many more of them in the days ahead.