2017 Series Preview

Series Preview: Miami Marlins (68-75) at Philadelphia Phillies (54-89), Sept. 12-14

Despite losing three of four in Washington over the weekend, the Phillies put up up a decent showing (that’s what it has come down unfortunately). All four games were decided by a run, and the lone game the Phillies won, they got adaquate pitching from Mark Leiter and stellar relief pitching. In a losing effort, the Phils even tagged the reigning Cy Young winner Max Scherzer for four runs in six innings.

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The Marlins wildcard hopes have evaporated, as they’ve lost 12 of its last 14. They lost three of four to the Braves over the weekend putting them 10 games back of Colorado for that second spot.

What to expect

After hitting 25 home runs in 43 games after the all star break, Giancarlo Stanton has hit just four in his last 13 games. Weak, I know. He and Marcell Ozuna are second and fourth in the league in RBI with 113 and 109, respectively.

Stanton, who doesn’t necessarily hit well at Citizens Bank Park, hit two home runs in his last visit in August. Christian Yelich, who was linked to the Phillies with Stanton midway through the year, has turned in a nice year hitting .293/.377/.455 with 16 home runs and 74 RBI.

Miami has been better than expected this year, but it’s been the same story as always: their pitching hasn’t held up.

With the return of Aaron Altherr on Sunday, Pete Mackanin went with a funky position lineup. Maikel Franco played first, J.P. Crawford played third, Rhys Hoskins played left, and Odubel Herrera was the odd man out. It’ll be interesting to see how Mackanin delegates playing time with everyone healthy and a new addition from Lehigh Valley.

Speaking of the new addition, J.P. Crawford is hitting just .200 in six games. The fact that his hits have yet to come is not a concern. Number one: he’s only up here to get his feet wet. Any real success would be a bonus. Number 2: Hoskins struggled his first few games and now is breaking records left and right.

Since Crawford’s arrival, Franco’s playing time has been effected the most, however, over the last four games, the third baseman is 6-for-13 for two home runs. Maybe this is what Franco needed.

Probable starters

Tuesday, 7:05p.m., Dillon Peters (0-1, 2.25 ERA) vs. Nick Pivetta (5-10, 6.49 ERA)

The rookie Peters is making his third start of the season, and his second against the Phillies. He stymied the Phillies’ bats in debut, tossing seven scoreless innings of three-hit ball. He also added eight strikeouts. Pivetta has been disappointing for the Phils, but pitched well in his matchup against Peters back on September 1, giving up a run in six innings. The Mets tattooed the Phillies’ rookie for 10 hits in five innings hist last time out.

Wednesday, 7:05p.m., Dan Straily (9-8, 3.95 ERA) vs. Aaron Nola (10-10, 3.71 ERA)

The Phillies have seen a lot of Straily this year, as this is his fifth start against the club. He’s 4-1 with a 3.90 ERA. Not known as a strikeout pitcher with 145 over 161.2 innings, the six-year veteran has struck 37 batters in 27.2 innings against the Phillies this year. Weird. Nola has taken a nosedive since his dominant July through mid-August run. He’s pitched to a 6.59 ERA in his last five starts and has a 10.67 ERA against the Marlins in three starts this year. The numbers aren’t on Nola’s side.

Thursday, 7:05p.m., Jose Urena (13-6, 3.61 ERA) vs. Jake Thompson (1-2, 5.23 ERA)

Urena has been quietly very impressive this season. He’s tied for 16th in the league in wins with guys such as all stars Stephen Strasburg and Robbie Ray. Urena went seven innings and allowed just a run in his last start against the Phils on September 3. Thompson is pitching for his future in Philadelphia the rest of the way. He’s had a frustrating year in both the minors and majors, where his ERA is north of five in both levels. However, his last time out against the Marlins, the 23-year-old struck out seven in six innings of one-run ball.

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