Miami Marlins: Fish return home to face Phillies

Philadelphia visits Marlins Park for first time in 2014

After a 4-7 West Coast road trip, the Miami Marlins are headed home where they’ll open a six-game homestand against the Philadelphia Phillies. Miami will begin its venture home with three games against Philadelphia before hosting the Milwaukee Brewers for three games.

Most recently, the Marlins split a four-game set in San Francisco with the first place Giants. The Phillies won the final two games to take a three-game series from the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park.

Chase Utley has fueled the Philadelphia offense throughout the early parts of the 2014 season. Utley is currently hitting .338 which ranks third in the National League. Marlon Byrd is also off to a solid start, leading the club with 25 RBIs while boasting a .296 batting average.

Giancarlo Stanton has continued to do damage in the middle of the Miami order. Stanton homered in Saturday’s 5-0 victory over the Giants and is second in the National League with 12 long-balls on the season. Stanton’s 43 RBIs is tops in all of baseball. Five other Marlins’ hitters have at least five home runs on the season.

With a 23-22 record, the Marlins enter their series with the Phillies in third place in the National League East. The Fish trail the first place Atlanta Braves by two games. At 19-22, Philadelphia is tied with the New York Mets for fourth in the division. Despite a sub-.500 record, the Phillies sit just four games out.

The three-game set in South Florida will get underway on Tuesday night. The Phillies and Marlins will play night games on Tuesday and Wednesday before closing the series with a day game on Thursday. The teams will not meet again for another month.

Season Series
Philadelphia leads 3-0. The Phillies swept the Marlins when the teams met in Philadelphia back in mid-April. After handing Jose Fernandez his first loss of the season in the series opener, the Phillies won a pair of one-run games against the Fish to complete the sweep. On April 12th, Jimmy Rollins propelled Philadelphia to a 5-4 victory with a walk-off home run in the 10th inning.

Marlins Musings

Fish Salvage Split in San Francisco
While it was not a winning road trip for the Marlins, Miami was able to finish the trip out west strong by going 3-2 over the final five games. Prior to the recent series with San Francisco, the Marlins had lost every road series. A 4-1 loss on Sunday kept Miami from taking the series from the Giants, but splitting a four-game set is a step in the right direction. On the season, Miami is just 6-17 on the road which is still the worst in all of baseball.

Fernandez Undergoes Tommy John Surgery
After a tear to the UCL in his throwing arm, Miami Marlins’ All-Star pitcher Jose Fernandez underwent successful Tommy John surgery on Friday. While Fernandez is done for the season, there is no definite timetable for his return. After winning National League Rookie of the Year last season and representing Miami as the club’s only All-Star, Fernandez was off to another solid start in 2014 going 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA in eight starts.

Pitching Match-ups
Tuesday – A.J. Burnett (PHI) 2-3, 3.13 ERA vs. Anthony DeSclafani (MIA) 1-0, 3.00 ERA
Wednesday – Kyle Kendrick (PHI) 0-4, 3.96 ERA vs. Nathan Eovaldi (MIA) 2-2, 3.62 ERA
Thursday – Cole Hamels (PHI) 1-2, 4.40 ERA vs. Henderson Alvarez (MIA) 2-3, 3.62 ERA

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