Miami Marlins Series Preview: Philadelphia Phillies

Rich Schultz - Getty Images

The Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies have both had disappointing seasons, and they are both tangling tonight in the penultimate series of the season.


Current Series

3 game series vs Phillies @ Marlins Park

Philadelphia Phillies
@ Miami Marlins

Friday, Sep 28, 2012, 7:10 PM EDT
Marlins Park

Cliff Lee vs Mark Buehrle

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

Complete Coverage >

Sat 09/29 7:10 PM EDT
Sun 09/30 1:10 PM EDT

The Miami Marlins have lost seven straight games, and they get to face the Philadelphia Phillies in the penultimate series of the year. The good news is that the Marlins are at home. The bad news is that the team is still destitute after injuries have taken out key members for a long period of time. So, you know, the usual for the last two weeks of the year.

The Phillies made a run for the playoffs recently, but it appears as though they will fall well short of that mark after starting the season terribly slowly. Both teams have to be disappointed with where they are standing, which means that, at worst, they will take their frustrations out on each other.

Tale of the Tape

Marlins Stat (Rank) Phillies
.302 (26) wOBA .314 (16)
88 (T-26) wRC+ 94 (T-18)
4.13 (T-20) ERA 3.89 (T-11)
3.94 (T-14) FIP 3.74 (6)

Remember when the Marlins were good? Me neither. Remember when the Phillies were bad? That's not happening right now, thanks in part due to the returns of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard to the lineup and the stabilization of their pitching staff. While things have perked up for the Phillies as of late, the Marlins are starting Gorkys Hernandez and Gil Velazquez in their lineup.

Stadium: Marlins Park

Area Dimensions (ft)
Left Field 344
Left-Center 386
Center Field 418
Right-Center 392
Right Field 335

Series Preview

Today is a first for Fish Stripes and the series previews of the season. Rather than contact the good folks over The Good Phight today (not that I would not contact WholeCamels and the gang over there), I talked to an old friend from my former network, FanSided. Justin Klugh of the excellent Phillies Blog That Balls Outta Here was nice enough to answer three questions for me. Keep in mind that Justin is an interesting character to say the least when you take a gander at this series preview. Here are my questions for him.

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1) So on a scale of one to ten, how disappointing was the Phillies' season for you? Like, is it "Kyle Kendrick versus the Marlins" (hey, he's Kyle Kendrick, but at least they can't hit him!) or more like "Kyle Kendrick versus everyone else" (damn, he's Kyle Kendrick!)?

I don't measure things on scales anymore. I find it quantifies unsettling aspects of life such as "morbid obesity" and "the Phillies." And who wants to see that kind of thing in number form? Instead, I'll give you my disappointment in the Phillies on a scale of sounds, from "Hrrmmph," to "BAAAAA!." And on that scale I land somewhere in the range of "Hmmm...mm?...meh."

Sure, the season was bad if you count the number of losses and lack of a playoff spot and performances/injuries of key players. But when you push all that crap out of the way through a mixture of denial and over medication, we find that there were a few bright spots scattered here and there. Cliff Lee threw ten scoreless innings once. Chase Utley homered in his first at-bat off the DL. And then Chooch hit one right after that! Then we lost. But Chooch, though--he's wonderful. And Kyle Kendrick actually was okay for a stretch there. And how about that Darin Ruf? He's got "potential young star who will be inevitably weighed down by crushing expectation" written all over him.

So, maybe things didn't pan out the way they were supposed to. Cole Hamels still did pretty well, and he's locked up for the next six years! And maybe the Phillies accidentally ushered in a new wave of young stars with Ruf (whose being turned into an outfielder) or Dom Brown (who has yet to become the five tool All-Star we thought) or Freddy Galvis (who broke his back shortly before a PED suspension).

"Ha, ha, ha! Ha, ha!" --that's the eerie, manic laughter of someone who is completely at ease and not sharpening a hunting knife.

2) What would Charlie Manuel have to do to actually get Roy Halladay to skip his last start this Saturday against the Fish given his recent struggles?

Roy's got a pretty long leash, which is to say, he is completely off the chain. With Doc inquiries, Charlie defers to Rich Dubee, who defers to Doc, who defers to no one. It has been this way for some time. Doc manages himself, from what I can tell, and only leaves games when Charlie Manuel comes out to the mound out of respect.

That said, it would take some intense trickery on Charlie's part to get Roy not to start. I guess he'd need like a lasso, made of barbed wire. Or a tranq gun that was somehow impenetrable to being exploded by someone's mind powers.

I don't know. He'd have to tell him something like, "Hey, I passed some stairs on the way in. They said they hadn't been run on in years. They were laughing about it, talking about how easy life was as a staircase, not being stomped on repeatedly by an athlete driven by horrifying desire. Anyways, good luck out there."

3) The Good Phight's Liz Roscher and Crashburn Alley's Michael Baumann hate Chipper Jones with a passion. Your thoughts?

I will point you to this post on That Ball's Outta Here, which got one reader to label me a "...stupid classless yankee bastard." And it's been my experience that anyone using the word "yankee" as a geographical slur is usually pretty on the ball and might actually be one of Chipper's direct relatives.

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I want to thank Justin for answering those questions in his usual charming fashion. Do get a gander at That Balls Outta Here, which is Justin at his most hilarious. He did offer me some questions as well to answer, and here's a preview of what you can expect to see over at his site.

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1) You recently said in a private email to me, "...no one wants to talk to me because I'm with the Marlins." How does complete isolation from society affect your social skills, and do you blame your favorite baseball team for ruining your life?

Yes and no. My natural shyness and social anxiety tend to like being alone, but I'm starting to feel a pang in my chest for the company of anyone other than my computer and the Miami Marlins players that appear on the screen to play baseball in the evenings. It has not been easy, and I'm this close to venturing into the outside world with a Yankees hat just so I can feel that I'm alive.

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There is much more, and some of it is actually serious, over at TBOH. As always, thanks to Justin and good luck to both teams this series!

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