Phillies vs Marlins: Series Preview
The Phillies enter the final weekend of the season facing the Miami Marlins, and neither team would appear to have much for which to play. However, a closer look at the Fightin’ Phils situation shows that they do indeed have plenty at stake in this 2015 season finale at Citizens Bank Park.
The Phils lead the Cincinnati Reds by just a single game at the bottom of the MLB standings. Whomever finishes in that lowest position will attain the top overall pick in the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft. With the Phillies having lost 2 of 6 to the Reds this season, their ‘Magic Number’ to clinch is at 2.
Also, if you want to look at things on a more positive side, as far as wins and losses are concerned, the team needs just one win this weekend to avoid the franchise’ first 100-loss season since the 1961 campaign.
The Phillies can draw a measure of encouragement from that miserable 1961 version of the ball club. Just three short years later, the Phillies had risen towards the top of baseball, missing out on a World Series appearance only due to the legendary epic 1964 collapse. They were a winning team for much of the decade.
The Marlins enter the series at 20 games below the .500 mark, stuck in 3rd place in the NL East. Are they a team who will rise in 2016 when injured stars Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez return at full health? Or are they another South Florida baseball fraud that will only let down what little fan base actually exists for the team?
There is something to look forward to on the field this weekend for Fightins fans in the anticipated return of 3rd baseman Maikel Franco. After spending most of the last two months on the DL due to a fractured left wrist, the rookie was activated for the Mets finale, but did not play. Manager Pete Mackanin would like to see him this weekend, however.
Oct 1, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Franco (7) in the dugout during a game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies won 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
“We don’t want to get anybody hurt,” said Mackanin per Jack McCaffery of the Delaware County Daily Times. “But he’s been facing live pitching down there. And he’s healthy. If he’s 100 percent, I think it’s a good idea to let him finish out the season. It’s not like he hasn’t seen live pitching. This is four days now that he’s seen live pitching.”
The weather will play a major factor in the completion of every game in this series, as Hurricane Joaquin approaches off the U.S. east coast. Just how aggressive will the umpires and the teams be to force lengthy stays at the ballpark on all involved, with little at stake in the competitive end of the standings?
PITCHING MATCHUPS: in this series are extremely fluid, as both clubs have shut down key starters at the end. For the Phillies, rookies Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, Adam Morgan, and Alec Asher have all made their final appearances of the 2015 season. Aaron Harang is scheduled to make his final start, likely the final start of his Phillies career, in the Friday opener. David Buchanan should wrap things up on Sunday. The club has not announced a starter for Saturday, and could opt for a “bullpen” game. For the Fish, Justin Nicolino will oppose Harang in the opener, with lefty Tom Koehler going on Saturday. They have not named a Sunday starter as yet.
BROADCAST NOTES: for fans of Gregg Murphy, the Saint Joe’s graduate will take on the play-by-play duties for this final series, as regular TV announcer Tom McCarthy has a football broadcast conflict. It’s everyone’s last chance to listen to the outstanding tandem of Scott Franzke and Larry Anderson on radio.
|Friday, October 2/||vs. Miami/||7:05 PM/||CSN/||1210 WPHT, 94 WIP, WTTM 1680 (Sp.)|
|Saturday, October 3/||vs. Miami/||7:05 PM/||CSN/||1210 WPHT, 94 WIP, WTTM 1680 (Sp.)|
|Sunday, October 4/||vs. Miami/||3:05 PM/||CSN/||1210 WPHT, WTTM 1680 (Sp.), 98.1 WOGL|
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE forecast for Citizens Bank Park in South Philly
Rain. The rain could be heavy at times. High near 56. Northeast wind around 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.
Rain. Low around 50. Breezy, with a northeast wind around 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.
Rain likely. Cloudy, with a high near 61. Breezy, with a northeast wind 20 to 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
Rain likely. Cloudy, with a low around 58. Breezy, with a northeast wind 16 to 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Rain likely. Cloudy, with a high near 67. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Rain likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 60. Chance of precipitation is 60%.