Just when you think the Phillies have turned a corner, they remind you of their offensive futility. After failing to back Cole Hamels yet again, the possibility of Hamels setting a career high in losses doesn’t seem so improbable. Hamels is pissed off, the fans are frustrated, but all we can do is sit back and hope they figure things out tonight in Miami.
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Tyler Cloyd (0-0, 2.84 ERA)
Tyler Cloyd is back for another turn in the rotation as the Phils try and figure out who’s up to the task of filling in for Doc long term. Cloyd’s first start against Arizona was good enough for another, but the signing of Carlos Zambrano indicates that he’s got a short leash. Tyler’s best case scenario is to continue to throw strikes, and avoid walking hitters. He got away with three walks in his first start, but that will catch up to a pitcher that pitches to contact like Cloyd. The Marlins lineup shouldn’t intimidate hum, but as Cole Hamels will tell you, it doesn’t matter how well you pitch if your team can’t score. If he stays away from the long ball and limits the free passes, Cloyd should be able to hold down a spot in the rotation until big Z is ready to go.
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Jose Fernandez (2-2, 3.48 ERA)
Yes, this guy again. Fernandez has been impressive in his rookie campaign, displaying electric stuff that’s made the some of the best hitters look over matched at times. He’s only made eight career starts, but this will be his third time facing the Phillies already. In case you missed the first two they weren’t pretty. Fernandez has yet to give up a run against the Phils, and has struck 14 hitters and counting. The true test of young pitchers is their second and third time through the league, so presumable the Phillies have some sort of advantage having seen him twice. Let’s hope the third times the charm, because if Fernandez pitches anywhere near the dominance of his first two starts it’ll be another excruciating game to watch.
It would be wrong to single out any Phillies hitter, as they have all struggled against Fernandez, but Ryan Howard has the early lead in futility. Not only is he 0-6, but four of those at bats have been punch outs. Thankfully for Howard, his ailing knee will likely keep him out of the lineup.
The lone glimmer of hope comes in the form of Freddy Galvis. He’s 2-4 against the young Cuban, and has provided a hot bat of late with Howard out. Don’t mess with a good thing Charlie.
Tyler Cloyd will have a slight edge against the Fish in his first outing against the club. Yes, he’s no Roy Halladay, but against the not so mighty Marlins he doesn’t have to be.