Phillies begin crucial series with Marlins sans Harper

Vince Velasquez takes the mound for the Phillies in the series opener against the Marlins in Miami. (Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire)

Following a brief, two-game sweep of one of the best hitting teams in the Majors in the Boston Red Sox, the Philadelphia Phillies (66-60) are in Miami to start a three-game series against the league-worst Marlins (45-81). They will be without the services of star outfielder Bryce Harper as he’s been put on the paternity list ahead of the birth of his first child.

The Phils have had an up-and-down go of it lately. After an impressive sweep of the NL Central-leading Cubs, the club dropped two out of three to the San Diego Padres, who sit fourth in the NL West. Luckily, they rebounded to take two games from the Red Sox in Boston behind strong pitching. The next three days are a crucial test for the Phillies, who have been given fits by the Marlins for the majority of their season series.

The Phillies won five of their first seven games against the Marlins this season, but have since dropped five of their last six against the NL East bottom feeders. The last time these two teams went head-to-head was in June for three games in Philadelphia and three in Miami. The June 21-23 series was part of a seven-game skid for the Phils while the series that took place from the 28-30 in Miami came following a four-game sweep of the Mets. The Phillies have had issues carrying momentum from series to series this season and with the Wild Card in sight, this Miami series is as close to a must-win as it gets.

Philadelphia enters play on Friday 2.0 games behind in the Wild Card race, 0.5 behind the Mets who hold a slight lead on them in the division. They are 9.5 games behind the Braves for first place in the NL East. The Nationals (70-57) and Cardinals (68-58) currently hold the two Wild Card spots.

In tonight’s Phillies-Marlins series opener, we’ll see Vince Velasquez oppose 32-year-old right-hander Héctor Noesi. 

Phillies Lineup

  1. Cesar Hernandez (2B)
  2. Rhys Hoskins (1B)
  3. J.T. Realmuto (C)
  4. Corey Dickerson (LF)
  5. Jean Segura (SS)
  6. Brad Miller (3B)
  7. Scott Kingery (CF)
  8. Adam Haseley (RF)
  9. Vince Velasquez (P)

Marlins Lineup

  1. Jon Berti (SS)
  2. Neil Walker (3B)
  3. Brian Anderson (RF)
  4. Garrett Cooper (1B)
  5. Harold Ramirez (LF)
  6. Isan Diaz (2B)
  7. Jorge Alfaro (C)
  8. Lewis Brinson (CF)
  9. Héctor Noesi (P)

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Matchup

  • Vince Velasquez (5-7, 4.35 ERA) vs. Héctor Noesi (0-3, 9.39 ERA)
  • Velasquez has faced the Marlins three times this season, posting a 3.52 ERA in 15.1 innings of work. His last outing against them came in a 6-2 loss on June 28. He pitched just 4.1 innings, giving up four runs.
  • Noesi has not faced the Phillies during his 110 career games dating back to 2011. This will be just his fourth start with the Marlins this season. In the previous three, he’s given up a combined 16 runs on 14 hits with nine walks and 13 strikeouts.

Pregame Phillies Nuggets

  • This weekend is Player’s Weekend around Major League Baseball, so the Phillies will be wearing alternate jerseys with nicknames. Their black helmets look pretty slick.
  • Rhys Hoskins has been moved out of the lead-off spot to the number two hole. In 46 at-bats in that position this season, Hoskins is hitting .174 with three doubles, a homer and two RBIs.
  • Prior to the 2019 season, the Phillies and Marlins agreed to a trade that brought J.T. Realmuto to Philadelphia and sent Jorge Alfaro and Sixto Sanchez to Miami. Alfaro is slashing .255/.294/.390 this season while Realmuto is at .275/.326/.476. Realmuto has caught 47% of base stealers, a career-best, while Alfaro has caught 38%. Meanwhile, top prospect Sixto Sanchez is dealing for the Marlins in Double-A. The 21-year-old is 8-4 with a 2.53 ERA in 18 starts for Jacksonville. He’s allowed just two earned runs since July 23.
  • Miami is coming off of an 0-6 road trip and have lost 12 straight road games, tying a franchise record. 
  • Phillies starter Vince Velasquez has gone longer than 5.2 innings just once since re-joining the rotation in mid-June.
  • Marlins starter Hector Noesi hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2015 before joining the Marlins this season. He has not won a game in the big leagues since August 27, 2014.
  • Brad Miller is 3-for-5 with a double against Noesi in his career.

Programming Information

  • 7:10 p.m. on Friday, August 23 at Marlins Park
  • NBC Sports Philadelphia
  • SportsRadio 94 WIP


  1. J.T. Realmuto Is Having A Special Season
  2. 3 Things the Phillies Taught Us This Week
  3. The Phillies Future In Center Field Is Murky
  4. What’s Wrong With Rhys Hoskins?
  5. 3 Numbers To Remember: The Phillies Cannot Go On A Run
  6. 10 Years Later, Brad Lidge Talks ‘Battling’ Through 2009
  7. Phillies Rumors: ‘Prevailing Belief’ Is Gabe Kapler Won’t Be Fired
  8. Phillies Nation Mailbag: Who Have Been The Best Phillies Relievers This Decade?
  9. Key Dates On Phillies 2020 Schedule
  10. First Look: Phillies 2019 Players’ Weekend Jerseys 

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