Philadelphia Phillies (22-11) at Florida Marlins (20-13)
Time: 7:10, Sun Life Stadium
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 72
Twitter: Phillies Nation
The Phillies continue to play musical chairs with the disabled list. Carlos Ruiz and Roy Oswalt are the latest to come down with ailments. Fresh off the DL is Joe Blanton (0-1, 5.92) to take on Javier Vazquez (2-2, 6.39) and the Florida Marlins. Not exactly Joe to the rescue but before he went down, Blanton was throwing just about as good as the rest of the aces.
In his last two starts he has an ERA of 2.57. Against Milwaukee and San Diego he lasted seven innings allowing only two runs in each start. Tonight Blanton will look to extend the Phillies consecutive starts of three runs allowed or less to 10 games. Blanton, against the Marlins, is 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA in three road starts in Florida.
Florida has been hanging tough with the Phillies all season atop the East Division and the National League. The Marlins are top three in the division for all major statistical categories. They are first in runs scored (152), second in batting average (.254) and home runs (28) and third in team ERA (3.41).
The Phillies, who are an up and down offensive roller coaster, are still holding their own in this tough three team division. They too are top three in all major categories. Offensively they are leading the division in hitting with a .260 average but are third in runs scored (144). This has been an issue all season getting runs across.
Against the Marlins last season, the Phillies hit .316 against Florida pitching and averaged 6.8 runs in six games.
Vazquez has faced the Phillies multiple times and has posted a 4.30 ERA. He is 12-8 overall with 190.1 innings. It’s no surprise seeing Ross Gload in the line up tonight against the Marlins righty. He has 16 hits in 38 at bats and will fill in for Ben Francisco in left field. Also, Raul Ibanez may once again toy with our heart strings if he can stay hot facing Vazquez (10-28, 4HR).
It is becoming almost redundant mentioning Placido Polanco and his success against a starting pitcher. But like his counterparts, he has also handled the righty well collecting 21 hits in 60 at bats.
The Phillies and Marlins have played two games thus far this season; both of which the decisions went to the bullpen. Let’s hope the Phillies offense can get it started early and keep the anticipated crowd of 239 silent all night.
Lineup: Rollins SS, Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Howard 1B, Ibanez LF, Gload RF, Orr 2B, Schneider C, Blanton P
Chase Utley went 1 for 7 in his second extended Spring Training game. He has two strikeouts.
“We fathom you not–we love you–there is perfection in you also;
You furnish your parts toward eternity;
Great or small, you furnish your parts toward the soul.”
-Walt Whitman, “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”
A light, pleasant Belgian white ale, brewed in Philadelphia and named after the area’s greatest poet. Had it for the first time at Mac’s Tavern on Market Street the other night, and it tasted like a more citrus-filled version of Hoegaarden. All in all, not bad, and if nothing else, an excuse to quote “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry.”
– By Michael