To prepare for the Phillies series against the Miami Marlins, I asked some questions to Chris Logel of Marlin Maniac. Luckily, he was kind enough to provide some answers so that we could learn a little more about the Marlins.
The Marlins have lost four of their last six games; are you very concerned, or do you believe they can turn it around?
I have reason to be concerned. The Marlins have struggled to score runs recently, and this probably is a regression to the mean for them. Some of their players were playing at a level that was likely unsustainable and the concern is that this slump becomes prolonged. The Marlins will need someone to step up and stop the bleeding.
Can you provide a brief scouting report on the scheduled pitching starters for the Marlins in this upcoming series vs the Phillies?
Nathan Eovaldi. Image Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
The Phillies will face Nathan Eovaldi on Monday. Eovaldi had pitched well prior to his last two starts, but since this league is concerned with what you have done lately, Eovaldi is definitely trending downward.
He has allowed 6 and 5 runs respectively in each of his last two starts. He has had trouble locating his secondary pitches and that is what will determine whether he is successful against the Phillies.
Heaney will showcase a 93 MPH fastball but his bread-and-butter pitch is his excellent curve ball. If you were looking for one game to see the best the Marlins currently have to offer, this is it.
Henderson Alvarez. Image Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
The third game will see Miami send Henderson Alvarez to the hill. Alvarez has really been spectacular this season. He has allowed a total of 3 runs in his last 6 starts. You can expect around 5 strikeouts for Alvarez, but more important than the strikeouts will be the ground balls.
He is also masterful at pitching out of trouble. This should be an excellent matchup.
Tom Koehler will take the bump for the series finale on Thursday. Koehler went 7 strong innings in his last start taking the loss due to the Marlins anemic offensive output against the Mets. It was a good outing for Koehler who had struggled the few starts before that.
Koehler is pitching for his spot in the rotation right now, with a host of Marlins prospects breathing down his neck. Hopefully he pitches well.
Who is the X-Factor for the Marlins in this series?
Giancarlo Stanton is always the x-factor, and he has been playing well of late.
The important thing that the Marlins will have to be successful with will be clutch hitting. That has been their calling card this season.
I expect the pitching to keep them in the games and particularly Heaney and Alvarez to shine. The bullpen has been a struggle all year, but if the bottom of the lineup comes through, they will have success.
Prediction for the series?
I like the Marlins pitching in this series. This is the best that Miami has to offer as far as starting pitching, and I believe that will help them split the series 2-2. Either way, I think that all the games will be close.