The Florida Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies are set to play the second game of a four-game series Wednesday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park
Florida Marlins at Philadelphia Phillies
Florida allowed five home runs to Philadelphia in a 9-1 series-opening defeat Tuesday night between National League East rivals, as the club has now dropped 12 of its last 13 games. “We thought we might get going on the road,” said Marlins catcher John Buck. “But nobody’s going to feel sorry for us. We just have to grind it out.” It was a disappointing return to the road after suffering through a terrible 1-10 homestand. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez is going to have to raise his level of play in order for things to turn around, going 0 for 4 last night and seeing his average dip to .205 for the season. He had been missing the previous 14 games due to a lower back problem. Florida is 24-22 versus right-handed starters this year.
Marlins starter Elih Villanueva is set to make his Major League debut and faces a stiff challenge of facing the divisional leaders on the road. He produced a 4-5 record and 5.23 ERA in 13 starts at Triple-A New Orleans. The right-hander pitched six scoreless innings Thursday in his most recent minor league outing.
Philadelphia has scored 27 runs over its four-game winning streak after scoring three or fewer in eight of its previous nine. “Probably the best we’ve hit all year,” said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. The Phillies top four hits were a combined 8 for 15 on the night, including two-run homers from Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. The club’s starting pitching has also been getting it done at Citizens Bank Park, entering today’s doubleheader with a 20-7 record at home, which is the second best mark in the Majors. The Phillies have registered a 20-13 record against divisional foes this season, but will not face another such opponent until July 4th after this particular series. Philadelphia is 26-21 versus right-handed starters this year.
Phillies starting pitcher Kyle Kendrick looks to even up his record this afternoon, coming in with a 3-4 record and 3.47 ERA in 17 appearances (four starts). The right-hander hasn’t picked up a win since May 11, which was ironically against today’s opponent. Kendrick has registered a 5-2 record and 5.36 ERA in 13 career outings (eight starts) versus the Marlins. He has also worked just four daytime games this year, failing to produce a record while posting a 4.76 ERA (3.23 nighttime ERA).
Bettors will likely back the Marlins due to their 5-1 record in opening games of double-headers, while the Phillies are 1-7 in Kendrick’s last eight starts versus a team with a losing record