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News » Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2008-05-30


Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2008-05-30


Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2008-05-30
When the Phillies get their first look at the first-place Florida Marlins on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park, they will see a team similar to themselves.

Except, of course, for the payroll.

The Marlins' payroll is $22 million, or about one-fifth of the Phillies' payroll. But they are surprising the NL with their fast start, a 30-22 roll that has been fueled by a homer-powered offense and better pitching than most pundits expected.

They also traded two of their best players -- Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis -- to the Detroit Tigers in the offseason, leaving them with a relatively anonymous roster other than star shortstop Hanley Ramirez.

"I'm absolutely not at all surprised," Phils manager Charlie Manuel said of the Marlins' success. "I said in spring training that they're going to be tough."

Manuel cited the hiring of new pitching coach Mark Wiley as a contributing factor to the Marlins' quick start. But the strength of Florida's pitching comes in their bullpen, where the relievers have a 3.11 ERA. Marlins starters have a 4.96 ERA. That's similar to the Phillies, whose relievers have a 2.86 ERA and starters have a 4.59 ERA.

The Marlins also rank second in the majors with 76 home runs, behind only the Phillies, who have 79. And for both teams, the leading home run hitter is the second baseman. Florida's Dan Uggla has 16 homers, one behind major league-leader Chase Utley, who has 17.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 30, 2008

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