The Philadelphia Phillies (43-40) have fallen 6.5 games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves in the National League East Division standings.
That difference can be almost entirely attributed to the two teams performance against the last-place Miami Marlins (32-49) this season.
While the Braves have dominated the Fish with an 8-1 head-to-head record, the Marlins have gone 7-5 against the Phillies. That includes victories in the last five games between the teams over the last two weekends.
While the Marlins continue to rank last in the entire National League in runs-per-game with their 3.62 mark, they also continue to defy their normal statistics when facing the Phillies pitching staff.
In the last four victories between the two teams, the Miami offense has produced 26 runs. That means they have scored nearly three more runs-per-game in those contests than the Marlins hitters average as their normal result.
When the series began, the key for the Phillies to get a series victory was to find a way to score against the stingy Marlins pitching staff while keeping their hitters in the ball park. Instead, the Fish bats have produced 23 hits including three long balls.
It’s no longer about a series victory. This one is lost. It will make five of the last six series dropped by the Phillies. In fact, today will bring to an end a disastrous month of June in which the club has gone just 10-16 to this point. They began the month at nine games over the .500 mark with a three-game lead in the NL East. At this point, they just need a win.
SUNDAY STARTING LINEUPS
- Scott Kingery CF
- Jean Segura SS
- Bryce Harper RF
- Rhys Hoskins 1B
- J.T. Realmuto C
- Cesar Hernandez 2B
- Brad Miller LF
- Maikel Franco 3B
- Jake Arrieta P
Jay Bruce remains out of the lineup, day-to-day for now with a sore elbow.
- Miguel Rojas SS
- Harold Ramirez RF
- Garrett Cooper 1B
- Brian Anderson 3B
- Curtis Granderson LF
- Starlin Castro 2B
- Jorge Alfaro C
- JT Riddle CF
- Trevor Richards P
Former Phillies catcher Alfaro is 0-5 since returning from a stint on the IL due to the MLB concussion protocol. He was the “Spotlight Player” in our series opposition preview of the Marlins, which contains some revealing information worth looking back on before the finale.
SHIBE VINTAGE SPORTS STARTING PITCHING MATCHUP
PHILLIES – Jake Arrieta: 7-6, 4.33 ERA, 99 hits over 97.2 IP across 16 starts with a 75/39 K:BB. The 33-year-old right-hander has given the Phillies six innings in each of this last three outings. But while the first two of those were strong, he was tuned up by the Mets his last time out for five earned and nine hits including two homers in a game the team eventually won. He started twice in April vs Miami, dominating them on April 12 in Marlins Park, but getting hit hard in an April 27 start against Richards (below), one that the Phillies would win by 12-9.
MARLINS – Trevor Richards: 3-8, 3.94 ERA, 76 hits over 89 IP across 16 starts with an 80/38 K:BB. The 26-year-old right-hander was signed as an undrafted free agent in July 2016. Made his MLB debut last season, making 25 starts as a rookie. He has five starts already against the Phillies, going 1-3 with a 6.64 ERA. The Phillies beat him up on April 27 at Citizens Bank Park for five earned runs on six hits including two home runs over just four innings.
PHILLIES NUGGETS PREGAME NOTES
- The Phillies are now 5-10 during a month-long stretch of games against only divisional competition. There are 11 games left in that stretch, including today.
- Following an off-day on Monday, the Phillies will remain on the road all of the coming week. There will be three games with the first-place Braves followed by three at Citi Field against the struggling New York Mets next weekend.
- The MLB All-Star Game reserves are scheduled to be announced later today. The odds are that the Phillies will get just one representative for the National League team. That will probaby be either catcher J.T. Realmuto or reliever Hector Neris.
TICKET IQ PROGRAMMING INFORMATION
- Sunday June 30 at 1:10 pm EDT vs. the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia; MLB Network (out-of-market only)
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP, WTTM 1680 (Spanish)
MORE FROM PHILLIES NATION:
- Larry Shenk’s Phillies Minor League Report: 6/29/19
- Historic lineup at Double-A Reading featured four No. 1 draft picks
- A look at the Phillies at the halfway point of the 2019 regular season
- Utley’s World Series deke is one of the two greatest defensive plays in Phillies history
- Phillies offering a shot at the pros in series of summer tryout camps