Posted by FishFF on 4:59pm, Friday August 7th 2009
Ouch. A sweep at the hands of the Nationals definitely hurts. A series that every Marlins fan looked at on the calendar and thought awesome, easy wins to help us out in the wild card and division. That didn’t happen, but the Marlins need to leave that series behind if they want to have any chance of making the playoffs. The Phillies have not been kind to the Marlins this year by winning seven of the nine games played, but there is no better way to get back on track than beating the team that’s ahead of you. The Marlins come into tonight 55-33, 7GB in the NL East, and 5GB in the wild card race. The Marlins do catch a small break in missing newly acquired Cliff Lee, but do get to square off against their arch-nemesis Jamie Moyer. Taking two of three from the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park would be a huge accomplishment for the struggling Marlins.
The Phillies sit atop the NL East with a comfortable seven game lead at 61-45. The Phillies just completed a three game series with the Rockies where they took two of three. After a slow start to the season, Jimmy Rollins is starting to heat up. In the past seven days, Rollins is hitting a robust .385 (10 for 26). The lefty heavy lineup will look to feast on the well-rested Marlins bullpen and add on to their division lead.
Let’s take a look at the pitching matchups:
8/7/09, 7:35 PM ET
Ricky Nolasco, RHP (7-7, 5.00)
Joe Blanton, RHP (7-5, 4.02)
Marlins: Ricky Nolasco will look to get the club back on track. Nolasco pitched a dominant seven innings versus the Cubs his last time out. Nolasco gave up only one run on four hits in the no decision.
Phillies: The “Bulldog” Joe Blanton will take the mound for the Phillies. Blanton is looking to bounce back after taking the loss his last time out where he gave up two earned runs over seven innings to the Giants.
8/8/09, 7:05 PM ET
Sean West, LHP (3-4, 4.91)
Cole Hamels, LHP (7-6, 4.68)
Marlins: Although it has not been officially announced, it looks like Sean West will be in line to face-off against the Phillies on Saturday. For West it will be his second stint in the Majors this year after being sent down back on July 11th. In West’s last three starts for AA Jacksonville, he has thrown 18 innings, giving up 21 hits, seven earned runs, and two walks while striking out 12.
Phillies: Cole Hamels is still looking for consistency this year. After a string of good starts, Hamels was shellacked for seven runs over five innings. Before his last outing, Hamels was 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA over three starts.
8/9/09, 1:35 PM ET
“Game of the Series”
Josh Johnson, RHP (10-2, 2.98)
Jamie Moyer, LHP (10-8, 5.55)
Forget about the history. Everyone else and their mother hit Jamie Moyer except the Marlins. This needs to change on Sunday when Ace Josh Johnson takes the hill for the Marlins. The Fish have had much more success against Moyer at Citizens Bank Park and will need to knock him out early. Just win.
Marlins: Josh Johnson’s last start was bizarre. After retiring 20 straight Nationals, JJ went into the 8th inning with a 4-0 Marlins lead and continued to load the bases for a Ronnie Belliard bases clearing double. His streak of 18 games with three earned runs or less has ended with his no decision against Washington.
Notable Phillies vs. Johnson:
Ryan Howard – 7-19, 2B, 2HR, 5RBI, .38
Chase Utley – 5-16, RBI, .313
Jimmy Rollins – 5-20, 2B, RBI, .250
Phillies: Jamie Freaking Moyer was hit hard against the Rockies his last time out, giving up six earned runs over five innings.
Notable Marlins vs. Moyer:
John Baker – 3-7, 2B, .429
Jorge Cantu – 8-26, 3RBI, 4BB, .308
Wes Helms – 6-13, 2B, 2HR, 5 RBI, .462 (Start me please)
Hanley Ramirez – 12-39, 3B, 4HR, 6RBI, .308