Game 116: Philadelphia Phillies @ Miami Marlins, Game Thread and Ichthyomancy

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3 game series vs Phillies @ Marlins Park

Philadelphia Phillies
@ Miami Marlins

Monday, Aug 13, 2012, 7:10 PM EDT
Marlins Park

Cole Hamels vs Nathan Eovaldi

Partly cloudy,rain. Winds blowing in from center field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 85.

Complete Coverage >

Tue 08/14 7:10 PM EDT
Wed 08/15 12:40 PM EDT

The Miami Marlins are coming off a better-than-expected series against the Los Angeles Dodgers that was still frustrating, if only because Hanley Ramirez seemed to come up with critical hits against the Fish every time he stepped up to the plate. But tonight is not about reminiscing about his past, but rather on the next opponent, the Philadelphia Philies. The series is critical for one reason only: this is the Battle For Not Last Place, and the Marlins do not want to lose that.

Of course, tonight's game is not going to determine who will end the season in last place, but it is important to make even small series like this one feel more critical than they are in a year full of disappointments. Remember, Marlins fans, #minorvictories.

Tonight's game does not figure to be a minor victory, however. Nathan Eovaldi will take the mound after a six-walk effort against the New York Mets that was erased by timely pitching and 13 runs by the Fish. Cole Hamels and his fancy new extension will face the Marlins for the first game.

Pitching Matchup

Proj Win% Proj ERA FIP ERA Marlins Phillies ERA FIP Proj ERA Proj Win%
.411 4.78 4.17 4.33 Eovaldi Hamels 3.08 3.53 3.39 .569

Nathan Eovaldi had a second straight poor start, walking six while only striking out two Mets in what turned out to be a Marlins 13-0 victory over the Mets. This was a season high in walks for Eovaldi, and it is not something that can continue if the Marlins are to expect success from him. The Fish need him to reel in those pitches, break out that cutter, and show off that arsenal. In his way, sadly, is a lineup in the Phillies' whose three best hitters will bat left-handed against him. He cannot do as poorly as he did against the lefty-loaded Atlanta Braves in his second Marlins start.

Cole Hamels has not been as good as he was last season, but he still signed a large contract that was worthy of an elite pitcher like himself and is still pitching at close to an elite level. Still, in his only starts against the Marlins this season, he has been shelled relative to what he usually does. In the first start over in Philadelphia, the Marlins hit two homers and scored five runs in 6 2/3 innings despite Hamels's eight-strikeout effort. In the rematch in Miami, Hamels did better but still allowed a homer and three runs in seven innings. The Fish can hit the long ball against him, as his ground ball rate has dipped from the career high of last season back down to his pre-2009 levels.

Lineup

Order Player Proj wOBA vs. LHP
1 Donovan Solano .297
2 Justin Ruggiano .348
3 Jose Reyes .350
4 Carlos Lee .340
5 Giancarlo Stanton .401
6 Austin Kearns .320
7 Greg Dobbs .262
8 John Buck .297

The Marlins will boast their strongest lineup versus lefties that they can muster, with the anchors of Jose Reyes, Carlos Lee, and Giancarlo Stanton batting third through fifth in the order. That the strongest lineup versus lefties that they can muster includes Greg Dobbs at third base shows the depths of the team's lineup concerns at the moment.

Notes

- If you missed it, here's our series preview for the Phillies series, complete with an interview with Whole Camels from the SB Nation Phillies blog The Good Phight.

Bold Prediction: Phillies def. Marlins 4-0

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