The Philadelphia Phillies (14 – 12) will host the Miami Marlins (8 – 18) on Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park in South Philadelphia. This will be the third game of a four-game weekend set and the sixth overall meeting here in the early part of the season between the two divisional rivals.
Last night’s 4-0 victory left the Phillies alone in first place in the National League East Division standings. Meanwhile, Miami enters the contest with the worst record in the NL, tied with the Kansas City Royals for the worst record in all of Major League Baseball.
The Phillies really need to start taking advantage of teams like the Marlins, especially at home, winning series and putting runs on the board. After dropping the opener, the only way that the Phillies can win this particular series will be to capture both tonight and Sunday afternoon’s contests.
After this weekend, three of the next four series will be against teams who currently sport losing marks. But a glance forward reveals that much of the Phillies first-half schedule right through the MLB All-Star break is filled with tough opponents and/or divisional series and not too many games against non-contenders.
The Phillies will have enjoyed 17 home games by the time the month of April ends next Tuesday. That will be the most home dates the team will play during any calendar month this season: May (14), June (13), July (12), August (15), September (10) and then hopefully at least a handful in October.
Saturday night’s weather is expected to be sunny at the 6:05 pm first pitch time and right through sundown, then remaining clear with a near 0% chance of rain the entire night. It has been a windy day in Philly and will be breezy at the start, with winds around 15 mph out of the WNW. Those will diminish by about three mph with each passing hour, and the 62 degree first-pitch temperature will drop by about one degree per hour.
SATURDAY STARTING LINEUPS AND PREVIEW
- Andrew McCutchen CF
- Jean Segura SS
- Bryce Harper RF
- Rhys Hoskins 1B
- J.T. Realmuto C
- Nick Williams LF
- Cesar Hernandez 2B
- Maikel Franco 3B
- Jake Arrieta P
PHILLIES HOT & COLD
- Lefty reliever Adam Morgan delivered his 14th consecutive appearance without allowing a run in Friday night’s contest. That ties him for the second-longest such streak in franchise history. Should he extend it one more game, Morgan would join what is right now a four-way tie for the longest such opposition scoreless streak at 15 straight appearances. Two more in a row and the club record would be his alone.
- After a scoreless 2/3 of an inning on Friday night, righty reliever Edubray Ramos has a 2.25 ERA over his last 68 innings dating back to August 22, 2017.
- Cesar Hernandez is hitting .338 with a .394 OBP over his last 16 games and 71 plate appearances. J.T. Realmuto is slashing .325/.378/.625 over his last 45 plate appearances across 11 games (10 starts)
- The Phillies are still not getting much offensive production from their bench group. Aside from the currently injured Scott Kingery, none of those reserve players his hitting higher than the .222 average of backup catcher Andrew Knapp, while Phil Gosselin (4) and Nick Williams (3) are the lone contributors with more than one RBI.
- Curtis Granderson LF
- Miguel Rojas 1B
- Brian Anderson RF
- Starlin Castro 2B
- Jorge Alfaro C
- Isaac Galloway CF
- Jon Berti 3B
- Rossell Herrera SS
- Trevor Richards P
MARLINS HOT & COLD
- Where the Marlins offense is concerned it’s all cold. Last night marked the seventh time already this season that the club has been shutout. In 20 of their 26 games the team has managed to score just three or fewer runs.
- Saturday has been the Marlins day. They are unbeaten at 4-0 on Saturdays in these early weeks of the 2019 season with all of those victories coming against division rivals: 7-3 and 4-2 over the Braves, 10-3 over the Phillies, and 9-3 over the Nationals.
- Jorge Alfaro continues to hit his old team. The catcher was obtained by the Phillies as part of the Cole Hamels trade with Texas back in 2015 and shipped to Miami in the Realmuto deal back in February. He now has two hits in each of the four games he has played against the Phillies.
SHIBE VINTAGE SPORTS STARTING PITCHING MATCHUP
- Jake Arrieta: 3-2, 2.65 ERA, 1.147 WHIP, 26 hits allowed over 34 IP with a 25/13 K:BB. His outing of eight innings 10 days ago against the Mets remains the club’s longest of the season.
- Arrieta has delivered a Quality Start in each of his five outings this season. In his two losses the club has scored just three total runs. He has a career 6-1 record with a 2.78 ERA and a .217 batting average against with just 43 hits allowed over 55 innings against Miami.
- Trevor Richards: 0-3, 3.72 ERA, 1.241 WHIP, 20 hits allowed over 29 IP with a 28/16 K:BB
- Richards is a 25-year-old right-hander who made 25 starts for Miami as a rookie last season. He is giving them length this year, having gone at least six innings in four of his five outings. His last time out this past Sunday he struck out seven in a 5-0 loss to Washington. His Marlins teammates have severely let him down, scoring just eight runs over his five starts.
- Following their loss to the Mets in his last outing, Arrieta publicly called out Bryce Harper for getting thrown out of the game early while things were still close. I wrote about it in the following piece:
PHILLIES NUGGETS PREGAME NOTES
- The Phillies activated shortstop Jean Segura from the IL on Saturday afternoon, returning outfielder Dylan Cozens to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
- After Friday’s win the Phillies are now 9-3 when they score first, 11-3 when they score four or more runs, and 13-1 when they hold a lead after the 6th, 7th or 8th innings. They are 13-6 in games in which they blast at least one home run, and are 13-7 when their starting pitcher gives them at least five innings.
- Andrew McCutchen remains just one RBI shy of 800 for his career. Maikel Franco is two doubles short of 100 for his career.
- Realmuto has thrown out nine runners attempting to steal this season, by far the most in MLB. The next-highest catchers have five.
- Neil Walker has by far the most experience facing Arrieta of any Marlins hitter. The veteran infielder has fared well against the Phillies starter over their careers. In 25 a-bats, Walker has a .320 average and has homered off Arrieta.
SATURDAY PROGRAMMING INFORMATION
- First pitch scheduled for 6:05 pm EDT at Citizens Bank Park in South Philadelphia
- TV coverage: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Radio: SportsRadio WIP 94.1 FM , WTTM 1680 (Spanish)
MORE FROM PHILLIES NATION:
- Jerad Eickhoff and the long ball provide Phillies with a Friday night win over Marlins
- Fans need to calm down, Bryce Harper will be just fine
- Larry Shenk’s Phillies Minor League Report: 4/27/19
- Phillies need to send Nick Williams to Triple-A in order to play every day
- Phillies Top 20 Prospects: April 2019