News Forum Blogs Roster Players Schedule Depth chart Stats Videos Photos

Philadelphia Phillies News

News » Phillies-Marlins Preview 2009-04-26

Phillies-Marlins Preview 2009-04-26

Phillies-Marlins Preview 2009-04-26
The Florida Marlins have looked like the better team for the first eight innings in each of the first two games of their series with the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Phillies have left no doubt who's been the better club from that point forward.

Florida is wondering what went wrong after blowing consecutive ninth-inning leads to visiting Philadelphia, and Sunday afternoon it'll try to avoid a sixth straight loss and second sweep in a row.

The Marlins (11-6) carried a 3-0 lead into the ninth in Friday's series opener, but closer Matt Lindstrom couldn't shut the door, allowing seven runs while getting only two outs as Florida lost 7-3.

With a 4-3 lead heading to the ninth Saturday, manager Fredi Gonzalez opted to give Leo Nunez a shot to close after Lindstrom's 38-pitch outing the night before. The result, though, was the same - Nunez surrendered the tying run before a Chase Utley RBI in the 10th put the Phillies (8-8) ahead to stay in their 6-4 victory.

"That's baseball. In this game, you get to come back tomorrow and play a game," Cody Ross, who struck out with the bases loaded to end Saturday's game, told the Marlins' official Web site. "You put it behind us, not think about it, like it didn't happen."

The Marlins' bullpen has an 11.91 ERA during the five-game losing streak. The Marlins haven't dropped six straight since an eight-game slide Aug. 15-22, 2007.

Florida got seven quality innings from starters Josh Johnson and Chris Volstad in the first two games of the series, but in Sunday's series finale it may need to call on the bullpen a bit earlier.

That's because Graham Taylor (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his major league debut filling in for Andrew Miller, who went on the disabled list earlier this week with an oblique strain.

Taylor, a left-hander known for excellent control, was 2-1 with a 3.24 ERA with Double-A Jacksonville this season. He made one start in spring training for the Marlins, retiring all nine batters he faced.

Philadelphia has faced two left-handed starters this season and chased each one early. The Phillies scored five runs in 4 2-3 innings off Colorado's Jorge De La Rosa in an 8-4 win April 11, and struck for five runs in four innings off Milwaukee's Manny Parra in an 11-4 victory Tuesday.

Last season, the Phillies hit just .257 off southpaws - 20th in baseball - but also hit a major league-high 74 home runs against lefties. Right fielder Jayson Werth was the biggest threat, hitting .303 in 155 at-bats with 16 of his 24 total homers off left-handers.

Werth is 3-for-7 with three RBIs against lefties this season.

The Phillies will also turn to a left-hander Sunday as they seek their first three-game sweep in Florida since Sept. 21-23, 2004, and it's a pitcher the Marlins would prefer to avoid. Jamie Moyer (2-1, 6.35) is 11-1 with a 2.95 ERA in 12 career starts versus Florida, and he went 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA at Dolphin Stadium in 2008.

Moyer seems to finally be showing his age so far in 2009, but the 45-year-old has won his last two starts. He's allowed four runs over six innings in each, including Tuesday's 11-4 victory in Milwaukee.

"Had a few more ground balls," Moyer told the Phillies' official Web site. "We played well defensively and we scored a lot of runs, which helps."

Florida shortstop Hanley Ramirez, batting .345 during a seven-game hitting streak despite battling a sore back, is 11-for-31 (.355) with four homers off Moyer.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 26, 2009

Philadelphia Phillies Photos
All the latest Philadelphia Phillies Photos Store photographs. Major League Baseball MLB.
The most recent photo
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Windows Live

Copyright ©, Inc. All rights reserved 2008.