The Miami Marlins continue an 11-game road trip after dropping three of four to the New York Mets over the weekend at Citi Field to open the trip. Miami lost a pair of games in the series by a single run including a 1-0, 12-inning contest on Sunday. The Marlins now head to Philadelphia for three games to take on the third place Phillies.
While Miami was only able to win a single game in its recent series with New York, the lone victory was the 55th of the season for the Marlins meaning that they will avoid tying the worst season in franchise history as the 1998 Florida Marlins finished just 54-108. The Marlins enter the series with a record of 55-94, the worst in the National League.
Division foe Philadelphia comes in with a record of 69-80 and in third place in the National League East. Prior to an 81-81 finish last season, Philadelphia had won five straight division titles. The Phillies are likely to suffer their first losing season since 2002.
With Ryan Howard and Chase Utley both fighting through injury this season, outfielder Domonic Brown has had a breakout year for Philadelphia. Brown is fourth in the National League with 27 home runs and leads the Phillies with 81 RBIs.
The rotation that has been a strong spot for Philadelphia for so many years has also struggled this season as the Phillies rank dead last in the National League in ERA. Cliff Lee was once again an All-Star for the Phillies, but Roy Halladay, a former Cy Young winner, has battled through injury and is the midst of the worst season of his big league career. In Halladay’s last outing against Miami back on May 5th, the future Hall of Fame right-hander allowed nine runs on just four hits in only 2 1/3 innings. Cole Hamels, who struggled early for Philadelphia as well, has come on of late, but owns just an 8-13 record this season.
In Miami’s recent trip to Citi Field, outfielder Giancarlo Stanton knocked a pair of home runs and continues to lead the Marlins in the power categories with 22 homers, 52 RBIs and 56 runs scored. Despite playing in only 103 games this season, Stanton is tied for 13th in the National League in home runs. As a team, Miami continues to rank last in baseball in every major offensive category.
Miami will see both Lee and Halladay in the series with Philadelphia while the Marlins’ Sam Dyson, who has been pitching out of the bullpen, will make his first career start. Dyson features a hard sinker and has allowed four earned runs in eight innings pitched this season. Lefty Brian Flynn will also make his third career start for Miami in the series. Dyson and Flynn have just two combined career starts entering the series while their Philadelphia counterparts of Halladay and Lee have combined for 700 career starts.
The series in Philadelphia will not be the final meeting this season between the Marlins and Phillies as the teams meet in South Florida in exactly one week in what will be the next-to-last series of the season. The teams will play Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park with each of the three match-ups getting started at 7:05 P.M. eastern time.
Philadelphia leads 9-4. Philadelphia and Miami have not played since before the All-Star break, but the Phillies hold a decided edge over the Marlins this season. The Phillies are 5-2 at home this season against Miami and swept the Marlins over a three-game series when the teams last met way back in early June. Philadelphia can clinch the season series with just one win in any of the six remaining games with Miami.
Monday – Sam Dyson (MIA) 0-0, 4.50 ERA vs. Cliff Lee (PHI) 13-6, 2.97 ERA
Tuesday – Brian Flynn (MIA) 0-1, 10.13 ERA vs. Roy Halladay (PHI) 3-4, 7.28 ERA
Wednesday – Nate Eovaldi (MIA) 3-6, 3.80 ERA vs. Kyle Kendrick (PHI) 10-13, 4.70 ERA