The Philadelphia Phillies (39-36) and Miami Marlins (28-46) will meet on Saturday afternoon in the second game of their weekend series at Citizens Bank Park.
For the Phillies, it will be another chance to put an end to a losing streak that has now reached five games. The club has also dropped seven of eight, and nine of their last 11 games.
This losing period has dropped the Phillies to 4.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves in the National League East Division standings. The team is also now tied with the Saint Louis Cardinals, a half-game out of the NL Wildcard race.
The Marlins have now won three of their last four games. Their pitching staff has surrendered just 22 runs over the last seven (3.14 per game) and is now fourth in the National League in batting average against.
The Marlins pitching strength is certainly not good news for a struggling Phillies offensive attack. No matter how inept the Marlins own lineup is at scoring runs, the Phillies can’t win without scoring some themselves. This was perfectly demonstrated in last night’s 2-1 victory for the visitors.
No matter how the game plays out, fans will be treated to a post-game concert by country music star Brett Eldredge. The concert will begin as soon as possible after the conclusion of the game, and your game ticket is also your concert ticket.
SATURDAY STARTING LINEUPS
- Bryce Harper RF
- Rhys Hoskins 1B
- Jay Bruce LF
- J.T. Realmuto C
- Jean Segura SS
- Scott Kingery CF
- Brad Miller 3B
- Vince Velasquez P
- Cesar Hernandez 2B
Kingery continues to get bounced between third base and center field, neither of which is his natural position, and neither of which he is anything more than passable, in Kapler’s lineup. Meanwhile, Franco is once again plopped on the bench. Miller becomes the fifth player to man the hot corner this season. Franco has the best fielding percentage (.986; two errors in 144 total chances) among all qualifying 3rd basemen in the big-leagues. The manager also is once again trying the old pitcher-hitting-eighth strategy, and is batting his 3-4 guys at leadoff and in the two-hole. None of this has worked to this point. But hey, let’s keep it going. The Analytics Department says it’s our best option. Or something.
- Miguel Rojas SS
- Curtis Granderson LF
- Garrett Cooper 1B
- Brian Anderson 3B
- Starlin Castro 2B
- Cesar Puello RF
- JT Riddle CF
- Wilkin Castillo C
- Elieser Hernandez P
Manager Don Mattingly has to cringe inside when he makes out this lineup card.
SHIBE VINTAGE SPORTS STARTING PITCHING MATCHUP
PHILLIES – Vince Velasquez: 2-4, 4.71 ERA, 1.524 WHIP, 43 hits over 42 IP across 17 games (7 starts) with a 49/21 K:BB ratio. Velasquez is expected to be used as an actual starting pitcher today, not as simply an “opener”, which was the case in his last outing six days ago. His last true starting effort came all the way back on May 6. Velasquez posted a 2.08 ERA (5 ER, 21.2 IP) over his first four starts of the season, but has since posted a 10.80 ERA over his last three, lasting four innings or fewer in all of them. During his seven starts, Velasquez has received only seven runs of support while he was in the game (1.99 run support average), and never more than two runs. No starter in baseball with more than five starts has received as few runs in support this season.
This can be considered an audition for the right-hander, who had a 4.82 ERA and .342 batting average against over nine games coming out of the bullpen.
MARLINS – Elieser Hernandez: 0-2, 3.95 ERA, 1.171 WHIP, 14 hits allowed over 13.2 IP over 3 games (2 starts) with a 13/2 K:BB ratio. Hernandez is a 24-year-old right-hander from Venezuela. He debuted in 2018 with 32 appearances, including a half-dozen starts. He began this season at Triple-A, and entered the Marlins rotation on June 11. This will be his third start since that time.
PHILLIES NUGGETS PREGAME NOTES
- Catching today for the Marlins is the 35-year-old Castillo, who was last in the big leagues during the last season in which the Phillies won the National League pennant. He appeared in 22 games combined with the Cincinnati Reds over 2008-09. After that, Castillo bounced through five organizations over the last decade. He is finally emerging here out of the Miami minors system only because of an injury to Jorge Alfaro.
- Realmuto threw out his 19th runner attempting to steal last night, and is credited with 23 total caught stealings on the season (he is co-credited for 4 instances when a pitcher caught a runner stealing). He is also the first Phillies catcher with 23 caught stealings before July since Carlos Ruiz back in 2012, and the first in MLB since 2016. Per Statcast, Realmuto’s pop time is 1.88 seconds, which is the quickest in baseball and would be the quickest ever since Statcast began measuring in 2015.
- Kingery’s .650 slugging percentage ranks sixth among all major league players with at least 140 plate appearances this season. Over his last 10 games, Kingery is hitting .405 with 10 of his 15 hits going for extra bases. Among all major league players, his 14 extra-base hits in June are tied for third-most.
- As part of last night’s sellout crowd, the Phillies have announced that Brian Morris became the 150 millionth fan ever to attend a Phillies game. Morris was presented with an autographed Phillies jersey with the number “150” on it by Charlie Manuel. He will also receive two 2020 partial season tickets, limited edition Chase Utley memorabilia, an
autographed Rhys Hoskins ball and more. The Phillies reached their one-millionth fan in 1889, 50 million in 1977, and 100 million in 2000.
- The Marlins got on the scoreboard first on Friday night. The Phillies are now just 14-28 when the opposition scores first. They are 25-8 when putting a run on the board first themselves.
- Think the bullpen is glad to have southpaw Adam Morgan back in the mix? He has not allowed a home run to the last 118 lefty hitters faced dating back to last June, and only one homer to the last 193 lefty bats faced since August 2017.
TICKET IQ PROGRAMMING INFORMATION
- Saturday June 22 at 4:05 pm EDT vs. the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP, WTTM 1680 (Spanish)
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