2017 Series Preview

Series Preview: Miami Marlins (60-62) at Philadelphia Phillies (45-77), Aug. 22-24

Photo by Arturo Pardavila III

Let’s play two.

The Phillies will welcome the Miami Marlins for a four game series that begins with an old-school, single-admission doubleheader that will take place on Tuesday afternoon, beginning at 4:05. The second game will begin at approximately 7:35. Fans can attend both games for the price of one.

What to expect

The Phillies are coming off two wins in San Francisco, salvaging a disastrous road trip in the making by going 2-5. There’s not many reasons to watch the Phils at this juncture. With Odubel Herrera on the disabled list, Pete Mackanin is forced to play with a patch-work outfield, that includes the likes of Cameron Perkins and newcomer Pedro Florimon. However, one reason to watch: Rhys Hoskins, who returned to his California roots this past week, hit .320 on the seven game trip with an impressive five home runs. His slash line now reads .237/.383/.632. After a tough four-game start, the 24-year-old is catching up to the speed of the game.

The Marlins are coming into Citizens Bank hot, winning seven of its last nine games, that included a a three-game sweep of the wild-card leading Colorado Rockies. One guy you might have heard of Giancarlo Stanton, has been on a tear. He already has 45 home runs and 97 RBI, but since the all star break (34 games), the power hitting outfielder has blasted 19 home runs. None of them wall scrapers, either. Stanton can’t boast about his numbers in Philly, as he carries just a .225 career average at CBP.

There has been rumblings that the Marlins are willing to part ways with their all-star outfielder. If the Phillies want to strike a deal this season — and it’s been reported that Stanton has cleared waivers — both clubs have until August 31 to do so.

Tuesday, 4:05p.m., Dan Straily (7-8, 3.80 ERA) vs. Aaron Nola (9-8, 3.26 ERA)

Straily has been fairly reliable for the Marlins this season. He’s good for giving his team a chance to win. Over his last four starts, the right-hander has not allowed more than three runs. The Phils are 1-1 against Straily in two stars this season, and have compiled 18 hits over 11.2 inning pitched. Nola’s streak of pitching at least six innings and allowing two runs or fewer ended last week in San Francisco. Nola, who is seventh in the national league in ERA, has seen Miami just once this year. He went just three innings back on May 31. That was a different Aaron Nola, however.

Tuesday, 7:35p.m., Jose Urena (11-5, 3.61 ERA) vs. Nick Pivetta (4-8, 6.25 ERA)

Urena has been a pleasant surprise for the Fish, as over his first two years in the bigs, he had a 5.76 ERA. Entrenched as a starter, the right-hander is 2-0 with a  2.20 ERA in three August starts. Pivetta has had a tough go-of-it in his second prolonged stint in the majors. Though his last outing in San Diego looked decent on paper, striking out 11 in five inning, the rookie allowed five stolen bases and three in one inning to Will Myers. Pivetta went 5.1 and surrendered three runs in his only start against the Marlins in 2017.

Wednesday, 7:05p.m., Justin Nicolino (2-1, 4.11 ERA) vs. TBA

Nicolino is extremely hittable with a WHIP of 1.73, but does a decent job of minimizing damage only giving up 14 earned runs on the season. Zach Eflin is up next in the rotation, but the Phillies haven’t committed to the 23-year-old as of yet with a shoulder issue. In the event Eflin can’t go, Mark Leiter, who last started in San Diego on August 15, would most likely get the nod. The right-hander was touched-up pretty good, surrounding seven hits in five innings for eight runs (four earned).

Thursday, 1:05p.m., Vance Worley (2-3, 4.82) vs. Jerad Eickhoff (4-7, 4.46 ERA)

Old friend Vance Worley will be retuning to Philadelphia. Worley was considered a diamond in the ruff fifth ace for the Phillies in 2011, when went 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA as a rookie. The right-hander hasn’t sustained quite the same success, as he’s bounced from team to team over the last several years, but the 29-year-old has a career 3.85 ERA. Worley’s last start against the Phillies came back in 2015. Eickhoff struggled his last time against the Giants, the third-worst team in the majors. He failed to make five innings while allowing eight hits and four runs. As Eickhoff’s career progresses, he’s showing capabilities of a back-end starter.

 

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