The Marlins are in town for a three-game set with the Phillies, who are coming off of a very successful 8-2 road trip that went from Washington to Cincinnati to Bronx, New York. This upcoming series marks the 23rd, 24th, and 25th games against NL East foes, and the Washington Nationals will head to Philadelphia shortly as well. Against the NL East, the Phillies are 13-9 (.591).
The Phillies swept the Marlins the only time the two teams have squared off this season, April 24-26. In that series, the Phillies scored 26 runs and allowed only 9 in what appeared to be a turn-around for the Phillies’ starting rotation, which went 19 innings and allowed only 8 runs (3.79 ERA). As we have seen in the time since, that was just a mirage.
Jamie Moyer and Brett Myers, along with Joe Blanton, are slated to pitch against the Marlins in this series. The Marlins are very familiar with Moyer and Myers, who have pitched a combined 219 innings against them. The Phillies, on the other hand, have relatively little experience against the Marlins’ starters, just a mere 43 innings combined against Chris Volstad, Andrew Miller, and Hayden Penn*.
* I was hoping for another Hayden P.
As you can see, the top of the Phillies’ lineup does the most damage against the Marlins; Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth haven’t hit Volstad or Miller much at all. In case you haven’t seen these charts before, the first number is the hitter’s OPS against the particular pitcher, and next to it is the number of plate appearances that hitter has had against the pitcher.
On the other hand, the middle of the Marlins’ lineup pounds Phillie pitching. I propose the Phils not pitch to Hanley Ramirez unless the bases are empty.
Finally, the pitching:
The Phillies are 1.5 up on the Mets and Braves, and 5.5 up on the Marlins. The Braves are on the road in San Francisco, and the Mets are home against the Nationals. Simply winning two of three from the Fish would be just fine to keep pace while the Mets and Braves face weaker opponents.
Hopefully, this is the series where we see Ryan Madson moved into the closer’s role. I don’t think we can stomach another Brad Lidge crash and burn.